Matthew 23

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“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37 NKJV).

February 4, 2017

Jesus grieved over Jerusalem and His people’s rejection of Him. How He wanted to “gather” them unto Himself to care for them as a “hen gathers her chicks.” But they were not “willing.” This is perhaps one of the clearest pictures of God’s heart of love and care revealed for humanity, and man’s unwillingness to respond to His call. Perhaps this verse was in Will Thompson’s mind when he penned the lyrics “Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me… Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, calling, O sinner, come home!” Are you willing to answer Christ’s tender call?

“But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11 NKJV)

February 3, 2015

Jesus not only taught, but modeled the art of servant leadership. He showed that true greatness was not about exalting oneself, but being humble enough to wash another’s feet. This is the Kingdom leadership model that turns the world upside down. The servant leader descends to greatness. By choosing to serve, the Lord lifts him up.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence” (Matthew 23:25)

February 4, 2013

Jesus accused the Pharisees of the hypocrisy of outward expressions of holiness without any true heart change. The Pharisees had added layers of rules on cleanliness in their interpretation of the Torah. They even had instructions on how to do dishes. Yet, their eyes were blind and their ears deaf to Christ’s message. The disciples of Jesus may not have washed their hands according to the Pharisaic tradition, but their hearts were humble and open to Christ’s teachings. As God told Samuel, “man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart” (1 Sam.16:7). What does God see in your heart?