by Kevin Rutherford
The English word “beware” is defined as, “to be cautious, to be on guard.” Jesus Christ warned His disciples to “beware” of a number of things. He wants His followers to be cautious, and to be on guard when handling certain threats to true faith.
Jesus said, “beware of false prophets... (Matthew 7:15).” There always have been and always will be those who will tell lies in the name of religion. While there are various reasons why people teach false doctrine the result is always the same. Souls are lost. You and I must be cautious and be on guard so that we are not carried away by false doctrine.
Jesus warned us to “beware of the scribes... (Luke 20:46).” Why we would watch out for them? They were the ones who transcribed the Scriptures over and over again. They should have known the law and the prophets better than anyone. Despite their great knowledge of the Scriptures they had become very arrogant. They loved to wear special religious clothing, receive special religious greetings, and sit in special places to be recognized as greater and holier than others. To beware of the scribes is to beware of arrogance. Don’t let it destroy you as it has done so many Christians.
Jesus told us to “beware the leaven of the Pharisees…(Luke 12:1).” The leaven of the Pharisees is hypocrisy. They loved to elevate themselves in their own eyes and the eyes of men, while putting others down. They loved making pious excuses for their apathy toward the truth. They loved to look holy on the outside while inside they were corrupt. Don’t be a Christian on the outside only! Don’t be a hypocrite!
Jesus warned us to “beware of covetousness...(Luke ).” Jesus pointed out that a man’s worth is not measured by how much stuff he has. Many today use possessions as a standard of a man’s value, but God does not. The possessions and bank accounts of people won’t help them on the day of judgment. Covetousness is an evil desire for more. It is a desire that will cause us to compromise and sin in order to have what we covet. Beware of covetousness!
Jesus wants His followers to be on guard against false doctrine, arrogance, hypocrisy, and covetousness. All of these things will destroy our souls. Don’t let your guard down.