“Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes and who love greetings in the marketplaces, the front seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive greater punishment” (Luke 20:46-47).
“Beware,” says Jesus.
Beware of these men in flowing robes. So proud of themselves. They walk around, their fine clothes billowing out around them, so full of their own marks of esteem.
Beware of them. Do not be like them.
And I think, “I am not a man of flowing robes. Surely from this warning I am safe.” And yet pride is insidious and seductive.
The marks of pride in the scribes were easy to identify. They are plainly visible to the naked eye. And yet in very identification of the flowing robes of others I find my own robes. Billowing robes. Pushing outward from my sides, blown about by the wind of my judgment.
“Surely I’m not like these scribes” I say, and my own robes flow. I push myself on the heads of others while encouraging myself that at least I’m not like them.