(April 28, 2015)
There are those who like to believe that the Savior was not focused on the hierarchy of the Church or in the outward performances and obedience to the commandments. This is an idea not supported by the scriptures, and especially by these chapters. Two portions in particular struck me on this note.
The first was when the Savior spoke of those who sat in Moses’s chair. He clearly knew of their unrighteousness, and yet He also clearly instructed the people to follow these admittedly unrighteous, power-hungry leaders. If the Savior wanted the people to follow leaders who He openly condemned as unrighteous, how are we justified when we choose not to follow leaders who we may merely disagree with? Even those who are legitimately unrighteous, we are still obligated to follow within their stewardships.
The second was when the Savior confronted those who strained at gnats and swallowed camels. He could have told them that they needed to obey the weightier matters, but He didn’t stop there. He told them that they needed to seek justice, practice mercy, and so forth – but that they should do that all while doing all they could to be obedient (doing these things and not leaving the other things undone).
The Christ of these two chapters bears little resemblance to the Christ some people, sadly, choose to imagine for themselves.