Friday, January 31, 2014

January 31, 2014 – Matthew 23 – It is for you to decide.

Below are my thoughts from the daily Bible reading of the West Side Church of Christ. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word. Also above in the tabs is a link to the Bible reading plan.

What Does this Passage Say?
  • Jesus isn’t going to go down without a final word. He knows that He is in the last week of His life. He knows that things are going to quickly turn. He knows that soon He will once again be back in Heaven in the presence of God himself. He knows that this tough world will soon be behind Him. But as He has done all along He has compassion on the people He came to save and knows they still have to live in a world that will be controlled by the Pharisees. He gives them seven warnings against the Pharisees and other various teachers of the Law. 
  1. They are more concerned with how they look than honoring the Law of God.
  2. They teach the Kingdom of Heaven, but don’t allow people to enter, and don’t even live it themselves
  3. They do all they can to win people to God (a noble task) but then they burden him down with so many laws and restrictions that he cannot live joyfully in that kingdom.
  4. They have put importance on the wrongs things, missing the right things when they value the material possessions over the words being uttered and the One being worshiped.
  5. They worry about observance of the Law and beings strict about it but miss the heart of the Law; justice, mercy, and faithfulness
  6. They look good on the outside but their inside is dirty with greed and power.
  7. They look for a prophet and a messiah, but in reality they would reject him, just as they are about to reject the one true messiah.

  • This all breaks Jesus heart. Jesus has come to save all of mankind. While that will be available to all, He knows that some, like the Pharisees will reject Him and completely turn on Him. 
What is this passage teaching?
  • The teachers of the Law are to be respected but only when they are teaching the Law, not drumming up their own rules and regulations. Jesus won’t stand it anymore. They have been trying to trap Him and now He has laid out everything that He finds wrong and sinful about their ministry. He does leave them with hope, acceptance of Him and His kingdom. An acceptance we know that many of them will reject. 

How can I apply this passage to my life?

  • Friends, as a minister it is my goal to only teach the truth of scripture. It is my goal and desire to relay and share the Word as I understand it. I may offer advice and wisdom as to the best ways to live out the gospel and life Jesus calls us to live, but I pray I will never demand it upon you. It is for you to decide to what level you will follow Jesus. It is for you to decide with what devotion and righteous living your life will resemble. If you are listening to a minster or involved in a church where the minister is demanding and requires a certain lifestyle, please be cautious. Please examine everything I say for yourself and base it upon your own knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. 
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