Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson
Beware of the Scribes and the Pharisees
(Matt 23; Mk 12:38-40; Lk 20:45-47)
“And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation” (Mark 12:38-40).
In speaking to the multitudes and His disciples Jesus warned them about the scribes and Pharisees as the passages serving as our text clearly show. He told them, “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do” (23:3). Jesus certainly did not mean that they should follow the false teachings of the Pharisees but rather those teachings that naturally and correctly arose from the Law of Moses. Jesus pointed out their hypocrisy and commanded the people, “But do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not” (Matt. 23:3). He listed some of the reasons for their hypocrisy:
“For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers (v. 4). “But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. “They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, “greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.”
Jesus then pointed out “But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. “And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. He was reminding them that Christ was their teacher and that they had forgotten the preeminence of God and their Messiah. Then Jesus taught them and us that being a servant should be our goal. Jesus clearly taught “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Whoever exalts himself has nowhere to go but down. He will be humbled by God. Whoever humbles himself has nowhere to go but up. He will be exalted by God (Proverbs 15:33; 29:23; James 4:6; I Peter 5:5).
1. They kept people out of God’s kingdom (v. 13).
2. They took advantage of widows (v. 14)
3. They misled men to eternal destruction (v. 15).
4. They were covetous of worldly things (vv. 16-22).
5. They refused to show compassion (vv. 23-24).
6. They were inwardly corrupt (vv. 25-28). And…
7. They afflicted the righteous (vv. 29-31). Now…
Space will not permit a discussion of each these woes, but they should be studied, and we must determine not to follow in the footsteps of the scribes and Pharisees. We often teach on the Beatitudes of Christ but seldom hear about the woes. We should follow and apply the beatitudes but refuse to practice these woes.
By Guy Roberson
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