In Matthew chapter 23 Jesus is warning the Pharisees that they have gone astray, and working to correct their behavior. Isn’t it interesting that men who dedicate their lives to God can still get so lost? You would think that the right answer is to turn to pastors and Pharisees for answers. But here we learn that the right answer is to turn to God. In verses 8-10, Jesus tells us that we have “one teacher, one father, and one instructor.” We can study, read, write, and learn from our pastors and elders, etc., but the best person to learn from and hear from is God. Jesus tells us here that he is THE instructor, and that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
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“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” – Matthew 23:23
So Jesus tells the Pharisees to focus on “justice, mercy, and faithfulness.” He also tells them to wash out the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will also be clean. It is so easy to try to fix the problem, the symptom, when the real problem is fixing the heart and the inside first. At work this is very similar to how I interview people. I have a more critical eye on character than I do on experience. People with good character is the magic ingredient to high performing teams. The rest can typically be taught. But one bad ingredient can spoil the entire soup. Similarly, Jesus warns us to watch out for hypocrisy and wickedness. What someone says and what someone does can be totally different. And so we should be careful who emulate. Jesus says we should emulate Him, above our peers, teachers, pastors, above anyone. He is the Way!
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for this Word today. Help us to walk in your Presence Lord, and wash us from the inside out so that our outside will also be clean. Help us to focus on the things that really matter, matters of the heart. Thank you for giving me another day to learn and grow, and share. Bless our families, and anyone who is seeking or crying out to you. Help us to rest this evening and fully recharge, so that we are full of love and light when we wake up tomorrow. We give you all the honor and glory and praise, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: 2 Samuel 11,12; Psalm 51, Matthew 23
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