Passage: Matthew 23:13~24  

Keyverse: 23b

Jesus pronounced woes on the religious leaders. First, he called them hypocrites. They were called to invite others to God, to make him known. God called Israel to be a kingdom of priests. Outwardly this is what the teachers of the law and Pharisees did, even travelling long distances to convert others, but they had failed to enter the kingdom of heaven themselves. They did not practice loving the Lord and humbly serving him. As a result, they became a hindrance to the very ones they desired to convert. They prevented them from entering the kingdom of heaven and made them children of hell instead.

Second, Jesus called them blind. It is because they lost sight of God in the practice of their religion. They taught many things that Jesus pointed out were contradictory to God’s sovereign rule. The godlessness of their religious practice was exemplified in their focus to tithe even their fine spices—but neglecting God’s justice, mercy and faithfulness.

Prayer: Lord, help me not to lose sight of you. Bless me to seek you by practicing justice and mercy today.

One Word: Seek God; practice his mercy