And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.
The reaction of the Pharisees to conviction is never repentance, always destruction and a further pursuit of their own agenda. But isn’t that what sinful man does? He seeks to destroy the source of his guilt so that he can continue on doing what he was doing, seeking his own way and refusing to relinquish the authority of his life to one greater. He attacks it with such vehemence because he is, perhaps, afraid of the truth exposing the darkness in his heart and forcing him to step into the light. He is afraid of the knowledge that what he is doing is wrong because then he has no excuse for it anymore.
May we, as followers of Christ, not have the same reaction when we are convicted by the Spirit of God. May we bow before Him with open hearts willing to rid ourselves of anything evil that He exposes in us. May we be thankful that He has revealed the truth to us so that we do not continue to walk in something that is displeasing to Him. May we be ever willing to change our ways instead of changing what He says in an attempt to continue following our own way. May it truly be the desire of our hearts to always forsake sin before we will ever forsake Christ or His teaching.
So what happens to the Pharisees and those who hold this same attitude? They end up being stuck in the middle because they feared the multitude and they also feared that what Jesus was saying might actually be true. If Jesus was who He said He was and all the things He condemned in them were really wrong, then their whole lives were a sham. Everything they had held to so strongly would have to be taken from them. All that they desired and pursued with such passion was meaningless. And their pride just would not let that be the case. And that attitude of pride that springs from repeatedly resisting God and His Spirit’s prodding will only lead to their destruction.
Let us be on guard against these kinds of attitudes and realize that we are not immune to this same kind of pride creeping into our lives, as well. We are all capable of developing pet sins, certain weaknesses in ourselves that we try to shield and protect. And when God touches those things, we may be tempted to resist Him and push Him away. But when we respond to conviction with the right heart, we will find that we don’t miss those things at all. But we would miss the fellowship of our Lord if we let anything hinder our relationship with Him.