Woe is Me – Mattthew 23:1-39

I highly recommend you also read this chapter in The Message.

  • V3 – Ouch.  Father please don’t let me be like this toward my kids or neighbors.
  • V4 – This makes “my yoke is easy” (11:30) so much more meaningful.
  • V5 – “They do all their deeds to be seen by others.”  What motivates my actions?

◊ Do I just hear and know the Word of God or do I let it change my life?  Do I claim to follow Jesus without living by His standards of love?  (These questions were from my study Bible.)

  • V8-10 – Is He being literal here?  I don’t think so.  I think the point is that we recognize Jesus is the ultimate teacher (Rabbi) and instructor and God is our first Father and therefore they have the ultimate authority and all our knowledge/wisdom in the roles of teacher/father/instructor will come from them.  If giving yourself those titles gives you pride that takes glory away from God, you should get rid of the title.

◊ What title/role is a source of pride for me?  Do I give God the glory for my success in that area or do I credit my success in that area to myself?

  • V11-12 – This is the third time He’s said this.

◊ Am I exalting or humbling myself, or both?  Continue to purify my motives Father.  Take away my pride and give me a humble heart.

  • V13 – Merciful God, help me to never be a roadblock to someone who is seeking to enter Your kingdom.
  • V15 – Teacher Jesus, help me to disciple new converts to Your kingdom in a way that glorifies You and teaches them to know and serve You better.
  • V16-22 – Infinite Father, You see the big picture but it is so easy for me to get caught up in the minutia.  Help me to see the big picture and not be hypocritical in the way I condemn some issues (like abortion and gay marriage) while committing the sin of omission by ignoring other issues (like caring for the poor and social justice for the needy and the foreigner.  Prov 29:7, Isaiah 1:17, Luke 3:10-11, Deut 15:4, 7-11, Prov 14:31, Prov 21:13, Prov 28:27, Luke 14:13-14, Matt 25:34-40, 1 John 3:17-18, to name just a few.)
  • V23 – Father in heaven, You are just, merciful, and faithful.  You have taught me these things by the way You have treated me and by what You have done for me.  Help me to make justice, mercy, and faithfulness to the people You created my top priority.
  • V24 – Bwah-ha!  Even when He’s angry, Jesus is hilarious.
  • V25-26 – God who makes things right, clean out my insides, transform my heart.  Clear out the greed, pride, and self-indulgence that motivates me and purify my motives so that my outward actions can be beautiful because they come from a place of beauty inside me.
  • V27-28 – Healing Father, help me to let go of my old life and all the ways it made me less alive – dying inside as I tried to appear put together on the outside.  You have given me new life – true life and freedom.  Help me to embrace this life of bringing You glory and advancing Your kingdom.  For I was created to do these things.
  • V29 – Merciful Father, I am a sinner just like my parents and grandparents and everyone who has come before me.  While I wish and hope that if I lived when You were on earth, I would not have yelled “crucify Him” or if I were Eve I would not have given in to the temptation to disobey You, the reality is, I am no better than the most wretched of sinners and it is only by the blood of Your son Jesus, spilled for me and all of humanity, that I can be made right and come before You today.  Thank You for Your mercy.  Thank You for Your grace.  Thank You for Your faithfulness!   It is only through the influence of Your Holy Spirit and by Your strength that I can keep from becoming like these hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees.  Forgive me Father, for the times I’ve been like them.  Change my insides.  Turn my heart toward You.
  • V37-39 – This is so sad.  His desire to comfort and protect His people is met by their rejection of Him.  As a mom, this breaks my heart.

◊ Do I run to Jesus when I need comfort?  Have I rejected His advances of love?

Wrap up your quiet time by praying through the following questions:

  • Based on this passage of Scripture, what can I thank God for?
  • What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
  • Based on this passage, is there anything I need to confess to God and ask forgiveness for?
  • What do these verses remind me to pray for others?
  • What do these verses move me to pray for myself?

About knockinguntilitopens

I am a Christ follower, a wife, a mom, and a creator. I like to share my stuff.
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