March 17 – Chronological Life of Jesus Day 54

Jesus is wrapping up his final teachings, and Jesus just got real with these Pharisees. Would love to have an open forum today and go a little more in depth-questions, feelings, thoughts, anything that you would love to share. I won’t get too lengthy with my post today; I challenge you to take each one of these woes and self-assess where you are in your walk and get real with the One who loves you.

-Dyea

Scripture

READ: Matthew 23

Observation

These woes, in contrast to the Beatitudes (Matthew 5), denounce false religion as absolutely repugnant to God and worthy of severe condemnation. Jesus affirmed this three times (vs. 13, 15, and 33) that unrepentant scribes and Pharisees would go to hell. No passage in the Bible is more bitter, more pointed, or more severe than this pronouncement of Christ upon the Pharisees. And I don’t believe it was by accident that he singled them out over the Sadducees and even the Herodians. Jesus wasn’t talking about all of the religious systems that were now in motion; He was talking about giving the wrong meaning of true religion. This is what he meant by false religion; they did it in a way that made it easy to tell lies.

They were professional scripture-twisters, and they focused, for their own advantage, on what was of lesser importance in scripture. Topics such as tithing (vs. 23), which resulted in more money in their pockets, were more frequently the focus of their sermons than were the “weightier provisions of the law” such as “justice and mercy and faithfulness.” This one made me stop and think about some of our churches today. I was about to tag this sentence with a 😉 but it actually makes my heart :(.

Verses 9, 10 and 39 are standing out today– “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father’, you have one Father, and He is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher’, for you have one Teacher, the Christ…For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’”. In Luke 11:2 “…When you pray, say: “ ‘Father, …” Our father wants to gather us just like He did with Jerusalem’s children (vs. 37), but they were ‘unwilling’.

Application

Lord, examine my heart…

Prayer

Father, have I been ‘willing’ or full of greed and self-indulgence; have I been a blind Pharisee, overflowing of hypocrisy, twisting Your truth to benefit me. Let me repent of my ways; I want You and to honor You in my ways, not to be detestable in Your sight. Please forgive me…Amen.

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Posted on March 17, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. In verse 24, Jesus says they strain out gnats but swallow camels. There’s a funny sight. One would assume this was exaggeration, but my Bible notes that they actually strained water through a cloth to filter out gnats because they considered them to be part of the unclean group of things that should not be eaten. I don’t remember the Old Testament addressing the eating of gnats, but ok. What gnats am I straining out, rules I’ve added on top of God’s commands to love Him above all and love others?

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  2. Becky just stated that she is straining out rules that she has added on top of God’s commands… she has to have gotten them from somewhere, like we all have.
    Obviously the Pharisees were pretty high up there at least these spiritual leaders that Jesus confronted were. People wanted to believe them, since they were “spiritual”, weren’t they? We’d like to think that if has “Jesus” on it, its good and the “Devil”, it’s bad, right? It’s not always so cut and dry, we know he is a deceiver. I know for me I love my Christian commentary and internet (YouTube), it took me a while to be able to learn how to filter and I know for a fact that I haven’t caught all the ‘gnats’. It was hard to decipher then what was true and what was false…with so much at our fingertips, totally tougher in today’s world. Guess I’ve fallen into that trap of letting; all of the above and including: Pastors, self-help and even my own brain be my “Teacher”.

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  3. I was at the Christian book store today…90% of the content in that store is what we’ve added to the Bible; 10% is the Bible. Just like Christian commentary, K-Love radio, etc.–it’s not necessarily bad but we need to have our eyes on God first through the actual Word He gave us. Then we can discern through God’s eyes and not get caught up in the rhetoric like the Pharisees did. I’ve been thinking about this the last couple days as it pertains to how we teach in kids ministry. So many levels of intimidation when it comes to opening up our Bibles and reading it–I think it’s Satan’s lies telling us we’re not capable of understanding it. That’s exactly what the girls in my class told me on Sunday. Whole religions are based on the congregation not being able to understand the Bible! This Discover One Thing ministry is based on the “how” of reading our Bibles. How can we make this contagious and squash intimidation? What can you do in your circles? This one might sting–did you open up your Bible today and read God’s Word, or did you just read this post?

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  4. Look at how awesome our God is–in our reading today, He lays out the root cause and what to do to trump intimidation – just as Becky spoke of.

    The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. (Matthew 23:2) — pretty intimidating, right? Well Jesus went straight to them, so they must have had A LOT of influence.

    So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. (‭Matthew ‭23‬:3) — read this slowly and let it sink in, “believe” this, and practice this…the bible is true, you believe that right, so this isn’t any lie.

    We allow so many of our own “Pharisees” to sit in “Moses’ seat”, instead of going right to the throne of Jesus. We believe the lies and why? Is it because we didn’t write a book, stand behind the pulpit, dj for a radio station or post for an online site — wrong, all lies, we are told right here how to squash those lies. Isn’t He the one that tells us over and over; those who have eyes let them see and those who have ears let them hear, so we qualify, don’t we? He has given us authority and definitely doesn’t give us the spirit of fear. Let’s trust Him and what His word says — it’s all about “believing” and “sharing” the truth of the good news. God is big, with Him all things are possible and not intimidating any longer.

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  5. Amen Sister!

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  6. It is so hard to recognize evil everywhere in the world, even at our own Christian book store and in church, and not get disgruntled and hateful! I here you and I know! Yet, that is exactly what Jesus is convicting the Pharisees of. There is a lot to digest in this chapter, and it’s obvious Jesus is angry. Isn’t there that part of all of us that still likes to deflect when someone is angry at us? I almost start to shut down and I feel the wall going up of self defense. My verse I come back to you in this chapter that has been repeated throughout the gospels and is easy to memorize is ..vs 12 whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles will be exalted. The Pharisees were not humble by every definition. Humility is swallowing that pill that says “I’m guilty, I’m not perfect, I need Jesus, Satan is attacking me and I cannot control him” , by the contrast exalting ourselves is best defined as putting people down. When we recognize people’s faults which is part of our human fabric, are we thinking more highly of ourselves or are we trying to best to recognize the need fof self examination, ministry, and discernment, God’s protection, And Gods will for this person. I used to get mad at myself for every time I was angry with somebody and I got hung up on why I didn’t like them, because I can be critical and judgemental, of course I can! But I refuse to sit in that place and dwell there, because that is self-exaltation. We are wrestling with God! He will give you His holy perspective and allow you to peek into His will- wisdom. Don’t worry, or stress about the world or other people…He is in control, but the most important thing you have control over is your own heart, mind, strength, and soul. What are you guilty of? I’m not encouraging you to live in shame. Only in our humility, we can press into God’s mercy and grace and in turn extend that mercy and grace to others….and justice. When we accept our faults as damaging and sin and see the wickedness of Satan, then Lord give us the courage to love our family and friends with a holy righteousness that Glorifies your holy ways and fight the good fight that protects the faith against the wicked Pharisees and teachers of today’s world. There is difference between self exaltation in hatred and judgement and fighting evil in love and courage. Satan loves to blur these lines!

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