Matthew 16:1-12 – Don’t Ride with Stupid

You’re riding in the back. Driving the car is a politician. Acting as navigator and “back-seat driver,” annoying the politician thoroughly, is an intellectual. They hate each other. You are on the interstate heading from San Antonio desiring to reach Corpus Christi. Just outside of San Antonio you see the typical green sign with white lettering that reads, “Corpus Christi – 137 miles.” Signs update you of the closing distance at several intervals. As you get closer you see a sign that reads, “Corpus Christi, Exit I-37, right lane, 3 miles.” Shortly, more signs read the same, except the numbers slowly countdown, “2, 1, ¾, ½, ¼.” Surprisingly, your seemingly competent driver and navigator pass the exit and continue south on I-69 towards “Nowhere, TX” missing Corpus Christi – “the body of Christ.” You ask, “What are you doing? You missed your exit.” “No we did not, we haven’t seen any signs.” “What! There have been plenty, they are green and white along the side of the road!” The politician exclaims, “I hate green signs and pay no attention to them. I’m looking for a sign in the heavens.” “I do not agree with you about the green,” interrupts the intellectual, “I hate signs with white lettering, but you are right on one count, I too am looking for a sign in the heavens.”

You are riding with a Sadducee and a Pharisee. Although they hate each other, there is a deep kind of stupid that unites them. Discontent that heaven has come down, they want an aerial banner to give them driving directions. With their arrogant noses turned up, they look only to the heavens – this is a deadly way to drive.

Like a wise parent Jesus tells us, “Don’t ride with stupid. They can’t get you to Corpus Christi, the body of the Christ. They always take a wrong turn.” This isn’t judgmental arrogance, its recognizing danger. It is recognizing the fool of Proverbs and avoiding him as instructed.

The Pharisees can interpret the sky regarding weather, but their spiritual barometers are broke. They don’t sense the force heaven is exerting downward. They don’t realize the sky is falling. There are signs, “signs of the times,” Jesus calls them, but they are blind to the green and white that the Authority has posted. They don’t want to bow to the authority, they want to be the authority. They want to be the teachers and make Jesus wear the dunce hat.

It does not matter if you turn up the volume for the deaf, or get a bigger screen for the blind. To believe, man needs not a miracle on the outside, but on the inside. Say you are a morning person and your spouse is not. You want them to know the glory and joy of a fresh bright morning. So you turn the lights on and commence whistling a tune. This unleashes their fury. You reason, “They love the day, so more light will make them love the morning.” To the previous day’s exercise you add throwing open the room darkening shades to let the blazing morning sun burst in. There is more light, but you discover you can’t make a morning person by more light. More light only exacerbates the problem.

There must be light within as well as without. Fallen man does not need new signs, he needs a new heart.

This is why we should avoid Pharisees and Saducees, for if the blind lead the blind, they never reach Corpus Christi, they will never confess, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

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