Matthew 23:13-22 Dishonest Words

13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. [14] [b]

15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

Dishonest Words

I am grateful for the few words that I needed to teach today.  I set the students tasks of reflection and focus upon God.  I had them talk to God directly.  They prayed.  I think sometimes as a professor we can pump ourselves up too much.  Sometimes we can speak too many words.  Sometimes we are dishonest, but at Moody that is rare, I think.  Professors say what they think and believe.

How honest are our words?  Do we embellish in some ways to make ourselves look better?  It is strange that the grandeur of words sometimes shows that we are compensating for something.

Questions

  1. What were the Pharisees doing wrong?
  2. What might have been their motives?
  3. How do we do similar things today?
  4. What are our motives?
  5. How can we change our actions by addressing our motives?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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