“Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.” Matthew 23.1-2
Moses was the man God chose to free the people of Israel from Egyptian slavery, which had been going on for 430 years. The Almighty intended to make those people a great nation on earth. For this reason, He gave them His Laws and His statutes to obey and protect them from generation to generation.
Moses received the Laws of God and passed them on to the people. All of Israel respected and followed his instructions because they recognized him as an authority, constituted by God Himself, to guide them to the truth.
It is interesting to point out that Jesus did not address the religious, but the multitudes and His disciples. He wanted to warn them about the intentions of the scribes and Pharisees, because they were placing themselves as the keepers of Moses’ authority. They wanted all the Israelites to see them as Moses’ substitutes, and as if they had been given the mission to lead them to obey the Laws of God. Moses’ seat was the most prominent and respected position of all; this is why it was so coveted and desired by those who wanted the power to profit themselves.
Take a look at what Jesus said about the character of those men:
“Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.” Matthew 23.3
Here is the big difference! Moses had the authority of God, not simply because he taught the people to obey the laws of the Most High, but, above all, because he was an example of obedience and respect to the Lord’s commandments.
The scribes and Pharisees were far from this. They were nothing more than dishonest and deceitful men. They had no respect or consideration for what is sacred. They were little or nothing interested in the people’s problems, as long as they were doing well and lacked nothing. How could God approve these men, when they had such petty and selfish intentions?
True servants of the Lord Jesus are where He is, which is among the afflicted, desperate, rejected, addicted, sick, depressed, wronged and humiliated. This is the position and the place where the servant of God should be. Jesus gave up His throne next to His Father to come into this world and live among the lost. He gave all of Himself to give us Salvation. This is why His Father honored Him!
He also honors those who serve His beloved Son, those who are not worried about themselves or their families’ lives, those who are not interested in standing out or being praised by others. The only thing they want and that gives them pleasure is to save souls for the Kingdom of God.