Matthew 23

Vs. 13, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites...”  Now that Jesus was in Jerusalem, he had quite a captive audience of disciples as well as Pharisee’s and teachers of the law.  Seven times Jesus would would point out the faults of the Pharisee’s and teachers of the law.  In fact, this would be the last public message before his death.  Question: Really?  A message of fire & brimstone?  Yep, it was time to rebuke the false teachers and warn the disciples as well as us the hypocrisy that surrounded their life.  Here’s a rundown of what the hypocrisy looked like: They were not practicing what they preached (vs. 3-4), They did it for recognition, not God (vs. 5-7), they put the focus on men rather than God (vs. 8-12), They tried to control the very gates of heaven (vs. 13-14), they led followers astray (vs. 15), they put their value in worldy oaths (vs. 16-22), they ignored God’s law (vs. 23-24), they put focus on the outside rather than the inside (vs. 25-26), they were empty morally on the inside (vs. 27-28), they judged their ancestors when they themselves were doing a worse action (vs. 29-32).  Not a very distinguished list, huh?

 

Regarding application…What times is it? Humble Time.  Vs. 12, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”  Looking at the list of “woes”…I would like to think that I’m not guilty of any of these.  Yet, I find that I have acted just like the Pharisee’s and teachers of the law.  The more I measure myself to God’s word, the more humbled I am.  Going back to seminary is one of the most grueling and arduous things I have done.  God has a sense of humor and all those times I have not studied in the past…I’m making it up now.  As I venture down the road of Biblical & spiritual academia…I am humbled.  As you venture down reading the Bible everyday…allow His word to humble you.  Question: What good is it to read and not be moved?  Then you wasted your own time and God’s time.  As Jesus closes his message, O Jerusalem…O Jerusalem…I can’t help but think he’s saying that to us.  (Sigh~~~…Oh Youth Group…O Youth Group….how often I have longed to gather you together.”  It’s time brothers and sisters.  Turn to the Lord.