Following Jesus Gives Us the Light of Life

Daily God Walk for Tuesday, November 23, 2010

 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”                     – Matthew 23:1-4

If the time of Jesus’ ministry wasn’t short already this discourse would have made it short. He is plainly attacking the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and other religious leaders. He goes on to say, “Everything they do is done for men to see.”

Seven times he says, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” and each time he points out another inconsistency in their lives. Look at a partial list:

v You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You will not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to (v13-14).

v You give a tithe of all, but you have neglected justice, mercy and faithfulness… You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel (v23-24).

v You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence (v25-26)

There was more, but you get the point. These men were more concerned about the way things looked than they were about the way things actually were.

When I look at this entire chapter, and it would be good for all of us to read it now and then, I see beyond the Pharisees. We have this example to help us examine ourselves to see whether we are trying to impress men or God.

Gaining the favor man is a great price to pay for losing favor with God. As Jesus said we must do what our leaders say, but we are cautioned not to fall into the hypocrisy of trying to please men.

Principle:  Live to please God not to please men.

Affirmation: I am righteous because of God’s favor not mans’.

 Prayer: Lord, help to always be aware that it is your favor which counts, not the favor of man. In Jesus name, amen.

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

Messages of inspiration for the journey of faith

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