Friday, March 21, 2008

Matthew 23

The Seven Woes
  • WOE 1 - (23:13) Addressed to the teachers and Pharisees. Read the preceding verses and you realize everything they did was for show. How about us, do we make sure others know about our good deeds, or do we know God knows and that is what counts?
  • WOE 2 (23:15) Follows the same vein of thought. When someone became a convert, they became a slave of the Pharisees. They made that person's life a living hell. The call is to encourage and mentor, not demean and discourage.
  • WOE 3 - (23:16) The Pharisees based much of what they did and taught according to money. Why do you think Jesus taught so much about money and possessions. What controls us? What is our god?
  • WOE 4 (23:23) Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, if we give away all of our money, but do not have love, we gain nothing and in essence we are nothing. Jesus' point is that the Pharisees were giving a tenth of spices, but what was more important was giving to those who had the real needs. I love his metaphor, "You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel."
  • WOE 5 (23:25) Jesus is really referring to what is in our hearts. We can look all nice and pretty on the outside, but what is inside of us, our heart, is what will defile us.
  • WOE 6 (23:27) Basically a repeat of WOE 5. On the outside we look great, we say all of the right things, we impress people, but our hearts are full of anger, bitterness, conceit, etc.
  • WOE 7 (23:29) They proclaim how wonderful they are, they would have been better than the prophets of old, they have all of the answers, yet Jesus says, their testimony is really a self-condemnation. The blood of the saints will be upon them.

  • Jesus concludes by saying 37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" Jesus is foretelling His death and what His heart longs for when it comes to Jerusalem - Jesus wants to save the people, just as a mother hen protects her young. He wants to do the same for you and I, as well.

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