Looking Back Over Jesus’ Life
My faith has been formed by the words of Jesus. Many times, I listen to Him speak, and try to follow the example He lifts up. However, in Matthew chapter 23, as Jesus criticizes the actions of the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees, I cringe at His description of these supposedly religious people and hope not to follow their example.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Jesus really must care about how our hearts and souls influence our faith walk. For a second time in this chapter, he corrects the scribes and Pharisees for pretending outwardly to be righteous people, while on the inside they were filled with all kinds of filth — hypocrisy and lawlessness.
That was one of the worst things about the Pharisees. They paraded around as righteous religious people, correcting other folks along the way, while they were blind to their own faults and failures.
Jesus used the word “hypocrites” here. It’s hard to tolerate hypocrisy. But we are all tempted to practice it. We have to be careful how we point the accusatory finger at another person. Do we remember that every time we point one of our fingers at someone, four of our fingers are pointing back at us?
Let’s clean up our own souls before we start suggesting someone else needs a scrubbing.
God, help me to look at my own life through the lenses of Your word. Help me to follow Your law so that I can truly live as a disciple of my Lord and Savior Jesus, in whose name I pray.