Woe to the hypocrite!

Scripture reading for July 29th: Matthew 23

Key Scriptures: Matthew 23:25-28 “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. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like white-washed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

In His last week on earth, Jesus talked plainly to the religious leaders about their personal hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is related to play-acting. They outwardly professed to be holy and righteous and law-abiding. In fact, others couldn’t measure up to their standards of keeping the law but what they did was done for show, not because of a pure heart or faith in the grace of God. Jesus plainly rebuked them, speaking ‘woe’ over their lives because inside they were full of greed, evil, covetousness, malice and lawlessness. They kept their appearance looking tidy, but inside they were a terrible mess. Jesus likened them to white-washed tombs that were full of dead man’s bones and all manner of decaying flesh and corruption. Jesus wasn’t trying to be mean. In fact, He was calling them to repent! God would clean the inside of the tomb if only they would humbly confess and turn to Jesus for cleansing. Each person chooses whether to continue the show or to come clean.

Matthew 23:33 “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, have mercy on me and speak plainly to my heart concerning hypocrisy. It is easy to judge and blame others, but harder to apply Your Word to my own heart and life. I want to be clean on the inside as only You can cleanse me. This is my only escape from the woe of hell. Thank You for Your great mercy and the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ!

1st Corinthians 6:9-11 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, or revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

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