Practice what you preach!
Scripture reading for February 2nd: Matthew 23
Jesus had the hardest words for religious leaders who taught the Law of God. His principle was that those that had received much were responsible for much. “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to His disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see: . . .” (Matthew 23:1-5a)
Jesus taught the people to obey their religious authorities. When we disrespect authority, we disrespect God Himself. (Romans 13:1-2) These authorities were bad examples! They did not live what they taught and their deeds were done to impress men and not God! This would bring “woe” upon them! They liked the titles and positions of authority, but were not humble before God or man. (Matthew 23:8-12)
They tithed religiously even down to every tenth leaf of their spices, but neglected the more important matters of justice and mercy and faithfulness. Jesus warned them that they ought to tithe, but not neglect the more important matters of treating people with dignity. They washed their hands and dishes religiously, but inside they were full of hypocrisy and wickedness! (Matthew 23:25-28) Jesus even went so far as to call them snakes and vipers for killing the prophets that God had sent to warn them and turn them back! He, the Christ, was doing so right then! When we read these woes, we must open our own lives to the Word! Hypocrisy is a deadly sin!