In Matthew 23, The Lord Jesus condemns the attitude of the teachers of The Law and the Pharisees. However, we too, as Christians, should listen to His Reproaches and make the necessary changes.
“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 be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. ” Matthew 23,1-3
The Lord Jesus condemns the fact that the words of the teachers of The Law and the Pharisees are not in conformity with their acts. They teach The Law, but do not practice It themselves.
We Christians also have to be careful not to say what we do not do. Let us make an effort to read The Word Of God, Proclaim It, but even more importantly put It into practice.
“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. ” Matthew 23:5-7
The Lord Jesus condemns the fact that the teachers of The Law and the Pharisees love honors, love to be noticed, to distinguish themselves from others.
However He, Who Is God, has lowered Himself to the condition of man, so let us try to take Him as a model and not seek honors in vain.
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have One Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have One Father, and He Is in Heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have One Instructor, The Messiah.” Matthew 23:8-10
In continuity with the preceding Verses, The Lord Jesus condemns the desire to want to wear titles. He tells us that we are all brothers because in God’s Sight, we are all equal. He recommends us to serve others and to lower ourselves.
“Woe to you, teachers of The Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of The Law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. ” Matthew 23:23
The Lord Jesus condemns the rigid application of The Law, without taking into consideration the values of This Law which are justice, mercy and faithfulness. Similarly, we can not practice God’s Commandments if we do not practice love.
“Woe to you, teachers of The Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. ” Matthew 23:25-26
The Lord Jesus condemns the fact that the teachers of The Law and the Pharisees consider the purification of the outside as more important than that of their hearts, which are inside. Similarly, we should give importance to the purification of our hearts. We should get rid of all that defiles them and takes us away from God.
“Woe to you, teachers of The Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 23: 27-28
The Lord Jesus condemns the hypocrisy of the teachers of The Law and the Pharisees. Outside, they give a good image, whereas inside they are wicked. We, too, should try not to deceive others by giving an image of us that does not represent what we have in our hearts.