September 8

Practice what He preached!
by Pat Norman

Matthew 23: 1-39   Every verse in this chapter was spoken by Jesus in the temple court, to the crowd, His disciples, teachers of the law, Pharisees and, today, to all of us. In verses 1 – 4, Jesus advises the crowd and His disciples to listen to and obey what the teachers of Moses’ law say, but not to do what they do because “they do not practice what they preach”.  Jesus gives specific examples in 5 – 12 of things done to be seen, greeted with respect, seated in places of honor and making lengthy prayers for show.

Then in verses 13 – 33, Jesus directly addresses the teachers and Pharisees and begins a “woe to you” tongue lashing (that must be directed to us, also) denouncing them as hypocrites, serpents, a brood of vipers, murderers, and devourers of widow’s houses.  There is so much to comprehend in these declarations that I went to my reference Bible for help and found these “woe to you” headings as
(1) antagonism to God
(2) oppression – hypocrisy
(3) damnation of souls
(4) false vows
(5) outward show
(6) false cleansings
(7) self-righteousness
(8) boasting and self-conceit.

Do we need a translator to tell us what to do and how to live, so that we will not suffer the same promise of condemnation to hell Jesus promises in verse 33 to that Jerusalem generation … and to us… for not practicing what He preached?

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