“And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone's opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances.”
- Matthew 22:16
The people of God must be on guard against flattery. Fiery darts and swords are not Satan's only weapons. When fear of bodily harm doesn't move us, Satan will use more seductive measures. Nothing is more seductive than flattery. In our text today, the enemies of Jesus try to get Him to let down His guard. They do not attack Him physically or personally. They do not employ slander or malice. No threat to His person, family, or friends. Their weapon? Flattery. It was impossible to take His soul; they wanted the next best thing: to poison His soul using false kindness and praise.
It will do us well to remember that the sword did not bring down Samson and Solomon; they were brought down by women who told them what they wanted to hear.
An invading army did not ruin Hezekiah; it was flattery that led to his demise. It is as JC Ryle once said, “peace often ruins nations far more than war. The sun makes the traveler cast off his protective garments far sooner than the north wind.... remember, Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss.”
Flattery gets you nowhere. Flattery fuels pride, and pride ultimately destroys. Be careful not to believe your own hype, and “woe to you when all men speak well of you” (Lk. 6:26).
Luke 18:9-10, “He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector...”