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The Bible Speaks to our Condition. Matt 23. Introduction. A warning against the example of the scribes and Pharisees ( vs 1-12 ) Seven “woes” upon the civic and religious leaders ( vs 13-36 ) One may ask, “How is this profitable for us today?”

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  • A warning against the example of the scribes and Pharisees (vs 1-12)
  • Seven “woes” upon the civic and religious leaders (vs 13-36)
  • One may ask, “How is this profitable for us today?”
  • A careful study of this chapter in its historical context will help us to apply its message to our lives today
  • We can be sure that if a certain attitude or ambition of life brought displeasure to Him, then it would today as well
  • We will look at two pictures of Christ and their significance to us today
christ the critic
Christ the Critic
  • Our Lord did not come to make our life dull or boring
    • Jn 3:17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
    • He was only critical of those things which were hurtful, destructive, and negative
    • His criticism of evil was merely a representation of His love
    • He could not condone that which was destructive and at the same time be genuinely concerned about the welfare of people
  • In this passage we see Christ as critical of the negative teachings that were hindering the people from fulfilling God’s purpose
christ the critic1
Christ the Critic
  • Christ criticizes profession without practice (vs 3)
  • Christ criticizes unwillingness to share the burdens of others (vs 4)
  • Christ criticizes wrong motivation for religious service (vs 5)
    • The praise or admiration of others is not proper motivation for religious service
    • While it is important that others have a high opinion of us, we must not be guilty of taking a public opinion poll before taking a stand on moral issues
  • Christ criticizes an attitude of judging success in terms of a position of prominence rather than in terms of service to the needy (vs 6-11)
christ the critic2
Christ the Critic
  • Christ criticizes hypocrisy (vs 13-15)
    • Christ repeatedly denounces pretense, sham, and phoniness
    • He uses such strong terms as hypocrites, blind guides, fools, and a generation of serpents/vipers
  • Christ criticizes the hindering of others from entering the Kingdom of God (vs 13)
  • Christ criticizes basic dishonesty in relationships with God and others (vs 16-22)
  • As we listen to Him criticize attitudes, actions, and ambitions of these religious leaders, it makes sense for us to examine our own minds and motives in the presence of God
christ the compassionate
Christ the Compassionate
  • The events in this chapter represent Christ’s final encounter with the civic, religious, and political leaders who were plotting His death
  • They had rejected His claims of being the Messiah
  • Christ responds to their rejection with compassion as he beholds the city and addresses it
    • Our Lord was lamenting because of what His people were missing and would continue to miss
    • Our Lord was lamenting because of the foolishness and hard-heartedness of the people who had turned away from their only hope of salvation
    • Our Lord was lamenting because of the calamity that was going to befall this nation and its capital city
  • The terms, “but you were not willing!” in vs 37 are some of the saddest found in scripture
  • They reveal the heartbreak of the Savior
  • Let it never be said of us as Christians, “You were not willing” to do the will of God