You load people with burdens hard to bear ...
One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.” And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe to you! ... Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”
In a setting filled with Pharisees and lawyers Jesus does not shrink from telling them the truth. The fact that they felt insulted is evidence that the words of Christ were not falling on deaf ears. Jesus message to these religious experts and theologians came from years of observation. In his short life Christ watched the poor suffer under the leadership of greedy and self-centered men. These leaders violated their obligations to their followers and to God.
In these few sentences above the Lord defines the essence of hypocrisy in the words "you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers." Such men are an abomination to God because they not only hinder their own spiritual growth but the maturity of those who listen to them. It was a travesty then and an even greater one now. Spiritual leaders have a responsibility to those in their care and to God.
Awaken my heart dear Lord that I might walk in a way that lightens the burden of those I meet today.