Matthew 23:5-7 Jesus again exposed the hypocritical attitudes of the religious leaders. They knew the Scriptures but did not live by them. They didn't care about being holy - just looking holy in order to receive the people's admiration and praise. Today, like the Pharisees, many people who know the Bible do not let it change their lives. They say they follow Jesus, but they don't live by His standards of love. People who live this way are hypocrites. We must make sure that our actions match our beliefs.
Matthew 23:5-7 People desire positions of leadership not only in business but also in church. It is dangerous when love for the position grows stronger than loyalty to God. This is what happened to the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Jesus s not against all leadership - we need Christian leaders - but against leadership that serves itself rather than others.
Matthew 23: 11, 12 Jesus challenged society's norms. To Him, greatness comes from serving - giving of yourself to help God and others. Service keeps us aware of others' needs, and it stops us from focusing only on ourselves. Jesus came as a servant. What kind of greatness do you seek?
Matthew 23:13, 14 Being a religious leader in Jerusalem was very different from being a pastor in a secular society today. Israel's history, culture, and daily life centered around its relationship with God. The religious leaders were the best known, most powerful, and most respected of all leaders. Jesus made these stinging accusations because the leaders' hunger for more power, money, and status had made them lose sight of God, and their blindness was spreading to the whole nation.