Scripture: Matthew 23:13-36; Matthew 23:37-39; Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4

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READ and STUDY the WORD

Jesus Condemns The Religious Leaders

Matthew 23:13-36  (KJV) 13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.  14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.  15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. 16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?  18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.  19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?  20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.  21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.  22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.  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, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.  25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.  28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.  29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,  30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.  31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.  32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.  33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?  34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.  36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

Questions:

1. What did Jesus call the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:13a)?

2. From what were the scribes and Pharisees keeping others (Matthew 23:13b)?

3. What else did Jesus call the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:16, 17, 33)?

4. Who did Jesus say He was sending to them (Matthew (Matthew 23:34a)?

5. What would happen to those sent (Matthew 23:34b)?

Answers:

1. Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites.

2. The scribes and Pharisees were keeping others from entering into the kingdom of heaven.

3. Jesus also called the scribes and Pharisees blind, blind guides, fools, serpents and generation of vipers.

4. Jesus said he was sending prophets, wise men and scribes to them.

5. Those sent would be scourged, persecuted, killed, and crucified.

Jesus Grieves Over Jerusalem Again

Matthew 23:37-39 (KJV) Jesus said,37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.  39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Questions:

1. What did Jesus say Jerusalem had done to those sent to them (Matthew 23:37s)?

2. What had Jesus wanted to do (Matthew 23:37b)?

Answers:

1. Jesus said they had been stoned.

2. Jesus had wanted to gather the children together under His protection.

A Poor Widow Gives All She Has

Mark 12:41-44 (KJV) 41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.  43 And He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

Luke 21:1-4 (KJV) And Jesus looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.  And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.  And He said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

Questions:

1. What was Jesus watching (Mark 12:41)?

2. Why did Jesus call His disciples over to where He was (Mark 12:43-44)?

Answers:

1. Jesus was watching people casting money into the (temple) treasury.

2. Jesus wanted His disciples to see a poor widow giving all she had.

HEAR the WORD

Matthew 23:25-28 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.  28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

MEDITATE on the WORD

Ponder the above passage.  My Bible notes: Though the religious leaders were careful about the details of ceremonial cleanliness, they nevertheless had lost their perspective on inner purity.  Ceremonially clean on the outside, but they had corrupt hearts.  They appeared saintly and holy on the outside but inside they were full of corruption and greed.  My thoughts: Jesus was telling them to clean the inside of their cup (their heart) and then the outside would be clean also. Hypocrisy and iniquity on the inside produce sin behavior.

MEMORIZE the WORD

Luke 21:3 And Jesus said, “Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all.”

LOVE and LIVE the WORD

We should seek the Lord’s guidance when determining what to give – whether it is money, time, energy or other resources.

TEACH and SHARE the WORD

And we should encourage others to give not just money but of their time, energy and other resources too.

PRAY the WORD

Lord, I pray we will share our faith with those around us.  I pray we will give of all we have.  I pray we will seek to keep a pure heart before You. In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.

ENCOURAGEMENT

“May you and I faithfully and generously serve the Lord.” <>< Dona