Monday, June 12, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 101

                         Image result for Book of Matthew
Day 101: Be Convicted to Change

Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 23:25-38

There are "Seven Woes," that run from verse thirteen to the end of the chapter, verse thirty-nine. It is very long and heavy. I read the first few 'Woes' on day 100. Woe as defined by Webster:  used to express grief, regret, or distress. Jesus is so saddened by what the teachers of the Law and Pharisees are doing that He gave a list of the things they were doing that caused the Father grief. 

Woe: 5
25 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean." (Matthew 23:25-26)
The Pharisees are, 'full of greed and self-indulgence,' which is crazy to think that a man or men of 'holy' standing would have either of these characteristics, but Jesus calls out their sin. They look holy and pure and clean on the outside, but inside their heart is far from God. 
Woe 6:
27 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." (Matthew 23:27-28)
My Bible commentary reads, "A person who stepped on a grave became ceremonially unclean, so the graves were whitewashed to make them easily visible, especially at night. They appeared clean and beautiful on the outside, but they were dirty and rotten on the inside." Jesus is comparing the Pharisees, teachers of the law, the holy men of Isreal who are leading the people, to graves and dead men! They look clean on the outside, but inside they are full of 'hypocrisy and wickedness' and from verse twenty-five, they are also full of greed and self-indulgence. We know that the Pharisees are all these things because Jesus is God and can see the heart of man. He knows are thoughts. How horrible to think that the Jewish people were being led by such men. 'Woe' to them is the right word to use.
Woe 7:
29 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!
They say they wouldn't have killed the prophets of old, but in their very own day and time they were plotting for ways to kill Jesus. 
33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.
37 “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, and you were not willing.38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matthew 23:29-38)
It is astonishing to me that no matter what Jesus says to the teachers of the law or the Pharisees their hearts are not convicted. I cannot understand how they can hear these words and not repent. But we know they do not because they are the very ones that bring Jesus to Pilate to be killed. And my commentary states that this prophecy was "fulfilled, at least in part, in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70."

Pray with me:
Jesus, as I read your words my heart is convicted. Lord, I do not want to be 'clean' on the outside and full of greed, self-indulgence, hypocrisy, and wickedness on the inside. I want to be holy in every area of my life. I want to be sincere, and kind, and loving, and devoted to you in all ways. Open the ears of my heart to hear you speak and convict me to change. I give you my life. I love verse thirty-seven, "how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings..." Lord, gather me under your wings. Keep me close to your heart. I love you. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

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