Monday, 30 March 2015

Matthew 21: Hypocrisy condemned

Good evening, folks! How are you all doing? There is a new memory verse for this week - it's short and sweet! Also welcome back to another week of studies in Matthew. Tonight we are in chapter 21. 

Things are really starting to get hot between the Lord Jesus and the religious leaders of the day. Jesus condemns the scribes and Pharisees for their man made traditions and their lack of honest, genuine faith in God. They show no real fruit, as in compassion towards other people, true love for souls, genuine repentance over sin. In fact these men are totally full of pride and hypocrisy, and the Lord Jesus is not impressed with them. The religious leaders have such a privilege and blessing, in the fact that not only do they know the Law of God but they also teach it. Yet they only teach what they want...lots of rules and regulations with their own slant put on it. All outward appearance stuff. The Lord Jesus Christ wants to see repentance over sin, a desire to know God in a deeper and real way and evidence of changed lives. And He tells the Pharisees that, even though they have all these privileges and a head knowledge of God, it will be the 'sinners' who will enter into heaven even before they do. It will be those publicans and harlots who see their own sin, who ask the Lord to forgive them and live a life dedicated to God who will gain entrance into heaven. The scribes and Pharisees see the sins of everyone else around them, but unfortunately they don't see (or they certainly don't want to see) their own sin. But when the Lord Jesus talks to them and teaches them from the Word of God and highlights their sin and hypocrisy to them, they get really defensive. Their immediate response is to try to get rid of Him. Deep down they know what He is saying is true but they are far too proud and arrogant to accept this.

Very often, people will not accept their own sinfulness and will refuse to repent and turn to God for forgiveness because they think that they are good enough and should be accepted into heaven on their own merits. But the Lord Jesus Christ says there must be a change in the heart of a sinner to be able to go to heaven. The Pharisees may have 'looked the part' on the outside but inside, their hearts were as black with sin as the hearts of thieves, murderers and all other sinners. Being 'good' is not good enough to get into heaven. Being 'saved' is the only way to get there. We can be like the scribes and Pharisees and go through all the spiritual rituals of the day but not one of them will do our souls any good. Only being washed in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ will save our souls and make us fit for heaven. If you are not saved yet, why not put your trust in the Saviour now and ask Him to make you ready for heaven as only He can do. 

Prayer matters:
  • Ask the Lord to help you to know Him in a deep way, by reading more of His Word and praying and being thankful for the blessings and privileges you have
  • Ask Him to help you to confess your sin and have a heart that is fully trusting in Him
Thanks for stopping by today. I won't be able to post tomorrow night due to another commitment but I hope to be back on Wednesday with Matthew 23. Hope to'see' you then!

Hugs, Karen x

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