One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick.
Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. (Luke 5:17-19)
Hardened hypocrites would hinder us from approaching Jesus for ourselves. Experts who are so full of themselves and their opinions that they have no room for Christ would offer you a filtered version of the Lord, one that is filtered by their unbelief, tradition, shame, and their party line. These people are neither your friends nor the friends of Christ. They are looking out for themselves and they wish to keep you under their control, so that instead of pressing on to the fullness of Christ, you would become a good dog for the religious establishment and help build their little kingdom.
A good minister of the gospel, or even just a good friend, would help you approach Jesus Christ for all that he has for you. He would tell you to go all the way. One who has true faith in Christ would tell you about all the blessings of Christ, and all of his saving and healing power. Whatever your situation, he would not tell you only to suffer with patience and endure in silence, and he would never tell you that it is a false hope to expect this Jesus to heal and to bless just like the Jesus in the Bible. No! I tell you, it is never a false hope to entrust yourself to Jesus Christ.
The religious hypocrite preaches a Christ of his limitations, a Christ of his denomination and theological tradition, a Christ of his restricted experience, a Christ of his small expectation. He would even conspire with unbelievers to murder a Christ that dares to exceed his false theology. This is the spirit of the Pharisees. This is the spirit that would not come to Christ, and who would prevent others from coming to him.
As for us, let us bring people not to our narrow vision of Christ, not to the Christ of our small faith, not to the Christ that only makes us look learned and established, but to the Christ of the Bible, to the actual Jesus Christ who lived and walked on the earth, and who is now seated at the right hand of God, ruling and doing even greater works through his people. Let our expositions present Jesus Christ in all his glory and power and all his blessings. Let those who hear us believe and attain even more than we can. For if we do not preach ourselves but preach Jesus Christ, who is beyond us, then he might lead some of our hearers to advance beyond us in faith.
Here is the difference. A friend of Christ and a friend of men would be happy about this. While he presses on to learn all of Christ and receive all his blessings, he would want you and help you to do the same. But a religious hypocrite would never let you have a Christ that is beyond his own learning and achievements. He claims to serve Christ, but he wishes to keep the Lord in line like a good little dog. He is afraid and jealous, and filled with murderous rage. But Jesus Christ is greater than he, and he cannot keep the Lord in a cage. Therefore, break free from the chains of religious unbelief, from the hindrances of tradition, over the crowd and through the roof, and come to know Christ in all his fullness and power.