Jesus realized that the Pharisees were keeping count of the baptisms that he and John performed (although his disciples, not Jesus, did the actual baptizing). They had posted the score that Jesus was ahead, turning him and John into rivals in the eyes of the people. So Jesus left the Judean countryside and went back to Galilee.(John 4:1-3 Message Bible)
Keeping score is one of the most divisive acts I know of. In the case of our text the Pharisees were actually keeping score of who had baptized the most people‚ÄĒJesus or John. One would think it would not make any difference as long as people were being baptized. However, that is not the way score keepers look at things.
Score keepers look at things differently than most people. As a matter of fact I have never seen a score keeper who actually confessed to being a score keeper. Their confession is that they only want things to be right and see that nobody else is being taken advantage of.
Every family seems to have a score keeper and that usually means that they are the self appointed ones to police the rest of the family‚Äôs actions.
There seems to be certain characteristics of a score keeper that are unique to them. For example, you never seem to win an argument with them‚Ä¶because they are usually more relentless than everyone else in the family. If a family decision needs to be made‚ÄĒtheir opinion is usually the one you go with. It is not worth all the ‚ÄúI told you so‚ÄĚ comments for years to come.
My own siblings have all gone on to be with the Lord, so I now feel free to use one of my sisters as an example of a score keeper. Otherwise I would be getting into a heap of trouble. Speaking of trouble‚ÄĒthe last thing you ever want to do is to get in trouble with the family score keeper. My sister had the rest of us so well trained (or scared) that it got to the point that she did not even have to say anything. All she had to do was just show up and the rest of us would straighten up and start smiling and doing what we could to please her. When she was around we were always on our best behavior. No liberties were taken and her opinion was always asked and usually agreed upon. We even seemed to sit up a little straighter in our chairs when she was around.
I do not remember any of us ever saying anything derogatory about her while she was around. We would always wait until she left before saying all of those derogatory remarks about her. We even sort a whispered while saying all of those nasty things for fear she might hear us. I am sure it was fear that made all the rest of us smiling hypocrites.
In God‚Äôs eyes I wonder whose sins are the worst, the score keeper Pharisees or the smiling Hypocrites who gossip behind the score keeper‚Äôs back.
Perhaps this is what Paul meant when he said in Romans 3:10‚Ä¶‚ÄúThere is none righteous, no, not one.‚ÄĚ
Forgive us for the sins that we commit against one another in the disguise of being righteous. Help us to see more clearly that our own peculiarities are many times an offence to others as well as to You. Help us to seek Your righteousness and honesty as we deal with others in love and humility.
Apostle John Dean Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved
Alliance International Ministries