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Matthew 23

by on December 26, 2015

Did Jesus Love the Pharisees?

Confrontation and Commendation
Jesus confronted the religious leaders and honored the poor widow
Matthew 23:2-44, Mark 12:38-44

Three years of Jesus’ ministry:
Year of obscurity – Jesus who?
Year of popularity – We love Jesus.
Year of opposition – He must die!

The religious leaders were honored and respected
Some religious leaders were hypocrites
They were the fundamentalists of their day – insisted on exact behaviors
They missed the heart and the spirit of the law
They missed the counsel of God through Isaiah (1&58)
They did not have the hearts of the people – Mal. 4:
They knew and taught the law but were not examples for people to follow
They created a Talmud (commentary on the law that God gave to Moses)
The law of Moses was good. The Jewish Talmud was not (Mark 7:6-12)
Jesus came to fulfill the law of Moses – not to destroy it
Pharisees loved preeminence, position, recognition, approval, and attention,
They needed to be noticed by false humility and selective approval of the people
They demanded to be honored and to have power. (Matt. 23:5)
They ignored the call of God to be just and servants in His Kingdom
They have their reward (Matthew 6:16-18)
They claimed to follow Moses – (Moses was the meekest man who ever lived)
They ignored the real needs of the people around them
They were willing to take advantage of and/or neglect the people
They taught the law – obey their teaching but do not live like they live
Do not follow them or you will be like them
Their burdens were heavy – Jesus’ burden was/is light (Matt. 11:28-30)
Jesus called them hypocrites (actors acting out roles)
Jesus said they will be judged for their behaviors
Jesus observed the behaviors and the hearts of the people
Jesus honored the poor, ignored widow in contrast with the prominent leaders
Jesus did not honor the religious leader’s life-style

God’s servants are typically unsung and faithful followers of Christ
Teachers will be judged very strictly (James 1)
Only God can be your Father. Only Jesus can be your Savior.
Religious leaders must follow the pattern of the Father in Heaven
Jesus called His disciples to notice the poor widow Mark 12:43
This widow depended on the mercy of the God of all provision

Questions and notes:
Was Jesus a nice person? Was Jesus a loving person?
Couldn’t Jesus be gentle and nicer to the leaders (like Nicodemus)?
How can two mites be more than large sums of money?
Do you give of your abundance or of your substance?
There are faithful people even in hypocritical situations
Jesus’ followers are brethren and sisters under one Master
Being a servant makes you great in God’s Kingdom
What does the Lord require of you?
What is pride? What is humility? What is false humility?
How are you investing your life?
Why did the religious leaders not accept Jesus and His teaching?
Politics will destroy the churches – it is destroying the churches
Who is being neglected in your life or your church?
What are you doing about that?
Jesus told His disciples to notice the poor widow

Conclusion –
Jesus said, Obey the teaching of the law
Jesus said, Do not follow the life-style of the Pharisees
Jesus said, Notice the life of the widow who gave two mites

The religious leaders thought they were doing everything right
The widow threw herself on the mercy of the God who provides

You can do everything right and still be wrong –
You cannot do wrong things the right way
But you can do right things the wrong way

Mt 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy (kindness), and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone

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