Good morning! Have you ever had a conversation with someone and you begin to tell them a story or scenario about a situation, when really you are talking about them? Did you hope to gain something out of it? Were you hoping the light bulb would turn on and they would change without you calling them out directly? Well today we are going to read Jesus’ list of last woes to the religious leaders and Pharisees. Join me as we continue in Matthew 23. Have a wonderful Thursday.
“27 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. 28 Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you build tombs for the prophets your ancestors killed, and you decorate the monuments of the godly people your ancestors destroyed. 30 Then you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would never have joined them in killing the prophets.’
31 “But in saying that, you testify against yourselves that you are indeed the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead and finish what your ancestors started. 33 Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?” – Matthew 26:27-33 NLT
Jesus called out at least two more areas that the teachers of the religious law and Pharisees were hypocritical and lawless in doing.
- Appearing beautiful and accepting on the outside, “look like righteous people” on the outside, but their “hearts were filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness ” v.28
- They would say, “if we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would never have joined them in killing the prophets.” v.30 However, Jesus knew better. He knew that while they spoke highly of the prophets now, they have not accepted His teachings and they will eventually plot to kill Him as well – “go ahead and finish what your ancestors started.” v.32
Jesus knew the hearts and minds of those teachers and leaders. He knew what judgment was in store for them, but they were still blind to the warnings.
While we can focus on the failures of the religious leaders and Pharisees, we must also understand that we can also fail in the same way. For example, going to church every Sunday for years, dressing the part, saying the right things during service and immediately after church our language changes – it’s foul once again, our attitude is just as it was before – dismissive, and our willingness to deceive has grown stronger. However, it is not too late to change this pattern. Sisters and brothers, let us not be blind any longer – walking in darkness, when we are called to be light. Let us take heed (listen, follow) to what the Bible is saying. The Lord is opening up our eyes to see things as He sees them.
Will you allow Him to change you?
Father God, we thank you for your love for us. No one will ever love us as much as you do. Lord, forgive us for the times we turned away from your love and rejected your teaching. Lord, today we want to rekindle our relationship with you. Lord, help us to see you and the things you are doing in this world. Lord, teach us how to serve you with our whole heart. Lord, direct our path and thoughts. Lord, we want to change from the inside out – beautiful on the inside and outside. Lord, remove the things that are keeping us from you. Lord, heal the brokenness in our hearts, remove the dead scar tissue of our past to allow your blood that cleanses us to flow through us. Lord, brighten our light so that people can see you in us. Lord, where we are worn out, tired and almost ready to throw in the towel – rejuvenate us, give us wings like eagles to soar high above the things that are chaining us down. Lord, direct us and use us to bring others to the kingdom. Keep working on and in us Lord. In Jesus name, amen.
SAVE THE DATE
March 2, 2019
9am – 1pm
Refresh, Renew and Restore
The event is held once a year and it is designed to refresh and restore volunteers and ministry workers who serve the community and/or work at dependent living facilities/organizations (e.g., shelters, recovery centers, etc). If you are a volunteer and/or a ministry worker or have volunteered at one of the Mary E. White Ministries events (workshops, retreats, etc) and are interested in participating in a day of being refreshed, renewed and restored email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, by Monday, February 25, 2019. Space is limited.
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