Theme: THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM
Text: “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” – Matthew 23:1-3.
Comment: The gospels show that Jesus Christ did not tolerate the pretensions and self-righteousness of the Pharisees, the religious leaders in his day. He made it clear that behind those pious displays were proud and selfish hearts. It was because of the quest for the praise of men that they enlarged the borders of their garments, loved the uppermost rooms at feasts, greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, “Rabbi”, (teacher). The Lord also condemned them for taking advantage of the helpless condition of widows, who, believing them to be genuine men of God, entrusted them with their property. They made long prayers to give impression that they were godly whereas they schemed to possess the property of those widows. Christ said “greater damnation” awaited them. – Matthew 23:14.
Again they make strenuous efforts to get converts from the gentiles and when such are converted, they by their wrong teachings and bad examples, made the convert, “twofold more the child of hell” – a worse sinner than he was before. Our Saviour said of them, “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” (Matthew 23:24) (They filter their drinks to avoid taking in insects but they swallow a camel – and both are unclean.) True Christians should not be such that “profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate”. – Titus 1:16.