“Hypocrisy!” (Matthew 23:1-12)

“Hypocrisy!” (Matthew 23:1-12)



February 11th 2024



You know, it’s a good thing as Christians for us to reflect on our lives since the time that we came to saving faith. Now there are some that don’t know exactly the date, the hour, the location of when they were saved. I remember in my case, I accepted Christ when I was nine years old and the pastor was preaching from 1 John 1, verses 8-9. and so forth, we confess our sins and he’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And he was going through different passages and things. And I remember the song, it talked about the blood washing your sins away, making white as snow. And I didn’t understand that, but I remember that and so forth, but nobody wrote down the day. Well, just because you don’t know the day doesn’t mean you’re not saved. Just because if there was no birth certificate with your name on it, you’re going to question whether you were born. No, you know we’re born, but maybe some of the circumstances and that. And it’s unfortunately been true of some sections of Christianity that have almost required, you must know the time, the hour, the date. You can’t find that in the Bible.

Now, I think that there should be evidence and so forth, and you should be able, you know, praise God, some people can produce that. But others know that there was a time that once I was blind, but now I see. You take a blind man, give him their sight, they know something happened. They may not remember the day or whatever, but they know something happened. and there should be evidences in your life. And then as you grow from that point on in your Christian life, there will probably be, maybe not like that, but there will be other instances when there will be a tremendous growth spurt, Mine went, I saved at nine, but I didn’t really grow much until I was a teenager and started reading my Bible all the time. Imagine that, reading your Bible and you grow spiritually. But anyways, that’s kind of what happened in my life. But then, as I became much more faithful in church attendance, and that was another one, and actually said that, you know, the preacher actually preaches to help me grow. And I started taking notes and so forth. But then God will bring other people into your lives. And that’s what happened in my life. It happened to be a man in my church that I appreciated him so much because he was vocal. And when I say vocal, you know what I mean? Amen, amen, preach a brother, give them both barrels pastor. And you know, he was maybe a little over the top.

My mother-in-law, well, she wasn’t my mother-in-law then, but she thought he was almost always over the top. But I thought that was pretty cool because I saw a man get excited about the preaching of God’s word when my dad was working at a filling station because he hated Christ. He hated Christians. He hated the church. And he got that second job not because he needed the money, but he had a good excuse not to go to church. And here was a guy that was excited about that. And I kind of gravitated towards him, and I started sitting with him. And he put his arm around me. Now today, that might get you in trouble. And some of this stuff in life has got to change. But anyways, he put his arm around me, and I really felt loved by a Christian brother. Well, and then we became good friends. And by the way, this was all before I knew he had a daughter, okay? This was just him and Dad Kreitzer, my friend. And we would talk and I so respected him and he was a reader and he was a lay theologian and he could almost teach me anything. And I’d take everything he taught me, hook, line, and sinker. He took over, we didn’t have a bookstore in our church, but we had a book room where you could buy books. Pastor would always be quoting men and mention different books. And then he would go buy them and then put them in the book room. And then every Sunday after the services, you could go to the book room and buy these books.

That’s the beginning of my very large library was actually buying them from the church. from the bookstore at church. But at one time we were talking, and I was very, very close, and I was reading my Bible and everything, and then as we were talking about the Pharisees and hypocrisy, and he said these words to me, and he says, well, you know, we’re all hypocrites. And that just did not hit me right. Because I was doing everything I could, and this is a teenager, I was doing everything that I could to please the Savior. I was doing everything I could to be at church. Sunday school, I eventually started teaching Sunday school when I think I was still in high school. And this is a church of over 500. They had plenty of people, but they were discipling me, mentoring me. It wasn’t the big term then, but anyways, I was teaching Sunday school. I was just doing all of these things. And he looked at me and then he said, you know, we’re all hypocrites. And then he said, and you’re a hypocrite. Oh, this man that I loved, this man that he knew me pretty much inside and out. And he said, and you know, you’re a hypocrite. And so I just said, no, I’m not. He said, yes, you are. I said, no, I’m not. Now what I should have said that might have helped me out is no, I don’t want to be. But I said, no, I’m not. And he looked at me and he said, do you live up to all of the truth that you know? I was crushed. I was simply crushed because I knew the answer and he knew the answer. No. He said, to the degree that you know what to do and you do it not, to you it is sin. And you want other people to think that you’re doing it? Oh, now that’s when you stop meddling or stop preaching and go to meddling. He said, and you want other people to think otherwise? You’re a hypocrite.

Because you see, the term hypocrisy, we all know what it means. It means in the sense to act like something you’re not. The history of it all is the idea of wearing a mask where back in that day sometimes one person, I even saw Red Skelton said this is the way that Godville used to be, that they would hold up a mask and you would act and then you would hold up another mask and a person could be a man or a woman or a child. a king or a pauper, and one person does all the acting, and he was doing all the things that he was not, but they would see that, and that’s playing the part of a hypocrite. But in the realms of Christianity, do you want others to know everything about your heart? I don’t want others to know how bad my heart really is. Your thoughts, your minds, the things that, really? But yet sometimes we can come off and look so spiritual.

Another phrase that’s used is self-righteous. There are some people that they get their own righteousness. They do good deeds so that they can look better than what they really are. This world is full of that. when those deeds are nothing more than filthy rags in the sight of God. My brethren, it’s this kind of reality that God can look into the very mind and heart of all of us and he sees the truth. We are completely, to use a bold word in a unique way, We are completely naked before God. He knows us. There is no ultimate hypocrisy when it comes between us and God. He knows the truth. But we ourselves, as we interact and things here in the world and what we want others to think, we can hide an awful lot. Hypocrisy and those that would teach and preach it and lived it, we find out in this particular passage, especially in the realms of religion, is, well, it’s an abomination before God.

We’re starting, as I said, this series of one time, it’s a long time ago, I don’t know, there’d be a few people here that were here back then, but I even preached a series called How to Be a Good Pharisee. and the idea that you pay tithes and it’s in this passage. And how to be a good one, to look good in front of people. And then we have to compare our hearts. Why do we do, motivation and so forth. And so what I wanna do today is I want to, we come to this chapter 23 and Matthew, the Jew, writing about a Jew to the Jews, and you’ve heard me say it over and over, a masterful overall plan and how He has constructed this.

So first of all, we’ve already had the triumphal entry, we’ve had the cleansing of the temple, then Jesus did some teaching in this particular passage, after that He curses the fig tree, and then He gives that illustration of the landowner, and then verse 45 of Matthew, Chapter 21, when it says, Now, when the chief priests, the Pharisees heard these parables, he perceived or they perceived that he was speaking of them. And he was. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude because they took him for a prophet. And then right after that, we’ve got the parable of the marriage feast and how that there was an open invitation to come and it was rejected. As a picture of Christ came to his own and his own received him not. And they complained and so forth. And he concludes that section with, for many are called but few are chosen. Then the Pharisees, verse 15 of chapter 22, the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle him. his talk and from that point on there are a series of four questions and we’ve seen this that’s what we looked at very just last week we took the big chunk we covered a lot of verses because I want you to see its position and the fact that it says verse 16 and when they said to him their disciples with the Herodians a teacher We know that you are true and they buttered him up. And then you get these questions like, well, is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar? Cause he’s such a bum. Now they didn’t put that, he’s such a bum, but that’s the idea. And so you can see now these, they were hypocrites.

They really didn’t want to know whether they should pay taxes or not. Paying taxes wasn’t an option anyways. They were just trying to catch him in his words. They wanted, and it said that in the text and so forth. And then you get the other, the second question the same day, verse 23. The Sadducees who say there is no resurrection came to him and then goes through that whole thing of the Levite law. And this woman who loses her husband and has all these other guys. And in the resurrection, whose husband? Well, first of all, that doesn’t apply to us today. But they’re trying to catch him. And the joke is they were a bunch of hypocrites because they don’t even believe in the resurrection. And then it goes on right after that, says, and by the way, they sent a good lawyer. What’s the greatest commandment? Not that they wanted to know. They’re just bold-faced liars, hypocrites. But he does answer them to love God, to love your neighbors, yourself, and so forth. Then he says, but let me ask you a question. You know, turn around, fair game. And they ask about the Messiah, and who is he, and he’s the son of David. Oh yeah, hypocrite.

How many false Christians, and how many people do we know, that if you ask them, who is Jesus? Oh, he’s God’s son. As if they would know. They’re a hypocrite. How many people, oh, I go to church all the time. Oh, well, I guess it’s just Easter and Christmas, but I do go to church. They’re hypocrites. You know, it’s kind of like the used car salesman. Sorry if anybody here is selling a used car. But, you know, the only way you know if they’re lying is if their mouth is moving. You know, the hypocrites. They’re just hypocrites and they don’t speak forth truth. They try to hide the truth behind a veil.

And so Jesus exposed them, which really got him ticked. And verse 46, right before our chapter and where we’re going. And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare to question him anymore. Well, he has less than a week of days on the earth in this form left. because they’re gonna kill him. Now, based on just the flow of a week and time-space continuum, what is Matthew going to write about? Well, we find out what’s on the mind of the author, Matthew, because it says, then Jesus spoke, and this is important, Jesus spoke to the multitudes, And so because there had been a multitude, a bunch of people now that are surrounding him, keeping in mind this is time of Passover, this is the time people are gathering, and there’s big crowds there. And so he’s speaking to the multitudes and to his disciples.

So this message that he is now going to begin, and we’re going to spend a couple of weeks in looking at, this message to the Pharisees is obviously for the Pharisees. It doesn’t say that they’re not included there. It just says that he says this to the multitudes and his disciples. But obviously, I think it would be fair to say the Pharisees and the scribes, they were close enough to hear it. Because you see, after we have the introduction of what we’re gonna look at today in the first 12 verses, look at verse 13. but woe to you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites. Verse 15, woe to you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites. Verse 16, woe to you, blind guides who say, and I’ll leave it there. Verse 23, woe to you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites. Verse 25, woe to you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites. Verse 27, woe to you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites. Verse 29, woe to you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, because you build tombs of the prophets and adorn monuments of the righteous. And it goes on.

I think they were close by. or those who’d be wasted words. Jesus is gonna be dead in less than a week. And Matthew felt it incumbent that the multitudes hear this message and that the disciples hear this message. And we believe on him through their word. Therefore, all the way down to us, we need this message. It’s a message of woe. And I want to get into next week’s message about what that all woe means. But just take it from me. It ain’t a pretty picture of just what the word woe means. But the first 12 verses are the beginning and the laying down of it all when it comes down to to introduce just exactly what hypocrisy is. Now, what’s interesting is, Matthew, this is not the first time that this concept of the hypocrisy and of the scribes and the Pharisees and we’ve seen how they’ve been fighting back and forth. But it actually appears back at chapter 5 in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount.

Look at chapter 5, turn back here, this is a good one and it’s in the same book. The Gospel of Matthew chapter 5 verse 20. Jesus has already gone through the Beatitudes and then we are the salt of the earth, we are the light of the world and does this. Now verse 20, for I say to you that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Now what does that tell us? Number one, it would tell us that Well, they had a righteousness. They did. They did a lot of things. But it needed to be exceeded. And if you would have asked just the common folk back in the day in Palestine, they would have said, nobody is more, those people are squeaky clean. They don’t have any sin in their lives, which would be not true because they were so hypocritical that they hid all of their sin. But the idea there was is that they were squeaky clean.

Matthew goes on, it says, for you have heard it said, well, that would have been from the scribes and the Pharisees. Chapter 23, you add the word hypocrite. that you have heard it said that to those of old that you should not murder. And then he goes on, so if you hate your brother, you already murder. You’ve heard it said. And then it says, verse 27, that you should not commit adultery. Well, if you look upon a woman to lust after, you know, we considered all these verses. And Jesus just said that the weight of the law is actually worse than what they’re teaching you. This is what they say, this is what I say, and you’re coming up short. And the Pharisees were very, very hypocritical in the midst of all of it.

Now we’re gonna come up to chapter 23, and notice what he says as he introduces the passage. This is a message for the multitudes and for the disciples. This is for all of us here today. And this is what he said, beginning of verse 2. This would be a catch-all. This would be his thesis statement. For this is another discourse, a longer sermon within the Gospel of Matthew. After he’s already pointed out and answered the questions and did all that in chapter 22, notice what he said. The thesis statement is this. The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat, and that’s it. They sit in Moses’ seat. Now, to any Jew, Moses is a pretty important dude. I think that’s an understatement, but there you go. Moses has meant a lot. Now, what does it mean to sit in Moses’ seat? I don’t know that we have this like, did Israel carry around a little lawn chair for Moses to sit on in the wilderness? Well, what is this Moses’ seat?

Well, it’s an interesting word in the Greek language. It is the word in which we get chair, or it is where we get the word actually cathedral. And when, for example, maybe you’ve heard in Roman Catholicism, when the Pope speaks ex cathedra, the ex cathedra means from the throne. And in Roman Catholic doctrine, when the Pope speaks ex cathedra, the chair, that it becomes equal in authority to scripture. which is one reason why, as Protestants, we don’t buy into that. We don’t take, we don’t believe there’s anything extra about the Pope, nor about the chair, nor ex cathedra from the chair. We just don’t recognize that. We have sola scriptura. It’s the scriptures alone, not the scriptures plus the Pope ex cathedra. just to complete the thought, Roman Catholicism also believes in the authority of tradition, canon law, and they have a third area because of that, of their authority.

So in the Reformation, we believe in sola scriptura, it’s the Bible alone. Show me in the Bible, I’ll follow or not follow, but don’t tell me what the Pope says, I really don’t care. And don’t tell me what canon law says. And I think that we’re a confessional church, And meaning that we follow the London Baptist Confession of Faith and we have these confessions, we have catechisms. But we don’t believe what those say because they say it. We believe what we believe because of what the Bible says and we believe those documents. then give us the truth that they reflect a good interpretation of the scriptures. Because we still only believe sola scriptura. There’s one source of authority. So we want to always make that clear. ex cathedra from the throne or from the chair. We have other ways that we look at it now. For example, on a university campus, you might have a professor, usually long and long-term professor there. And we say that they are the chair of the history department, the chair of philosophy. And we refer to it as just the chair. Those things have this idea of, it was the place of seated of authority, whereby you could speak and you guys got to obey.

Now with that little bit of a background, just from the word, notice again, Jesus starts off with his thesis statement and what he’s gonna say. The scribes and Pharisees, they sit in a seat as it were, that equals the authority of Moses. Hmm. Now that’s pretty, that’s got some punch to it. And he makes this, that is a decorative statement, statement of truth. He just states it. And now he’s gonna justify it. That’s why that’s introductory.

Look at verse three now. Therefore, therefore, The scribes and the Pharisees, they’re trying to kill me. They don’t like anything that I say. They’ve tried to catch me in my words, previous chapter, at least in the Gospel of Matthew. And it says, okay, now I’m gonna let you, I’m gonna give it back to them. And he doesn’t just bring out another gun, he brings out bazookas. And I mean, he’s got the big guns that he is going at it. Therefore, and in this series, we see what they say and what was done. Because you see, the Pharisees, that was kind of a, that was a unique circumstance. Because the Pharisees, he calls them hypocrites. He says, you’re blind, you’re whitewashed tombs, you’re critical, proud, judgmental, self-centered.

But it was also true concerning Pharisees and the scribes and all of them, that they were religious, generally separatist. They love scripture, at least to the degree they love to quote it. They had a sense of morality, although it wasn’t God’s morality. They were givers because they did do some of that. They were evangelist. We’ll find out in the passage in the woes. They would go out and make a convert, make them, you know, twice the child of hell and worse. They were they gave a verbal love for God and they would do what they could to to breed confusion, but to speak with authority. I’m righteous. Listen to me. In fact, in the Talmud, which was kind of a commentary in the New Testament times and for the Jews of what was going on. It has been reported in the Talmud, Sotah chapter 22b, that they qualified the Pharisees as seven, I think it’s seven, seven kinds of Pharisees.

Listen to this. Now this would have been in the mind of the people. The first group are called shoulder Pharisees, so named because of their custom of displaying accounts of their good deeds on their shoulders for other people to see and to admire them. When they prayed, they would put ashes on their head as an act of humility. They wore sad expressions on their faces to suggest piousness. You know, Jesus talked about, you know, when you fast, go wash your hands, you know, kind of clean up. Don’t be like the hypocrites. Like so I’m here today because I love you. And I want to preach God’s word because his burden is in my soul, even though I have heart issues and I’m so weak. And, you know, it’s it’s it’s hypocrite, bull face liar. Disfigure your face. Oh, I’m sorry, did you hear my stomach growling? I’m fasting, so that you all will repent of your sins. When none of that is true. And so that was the first kind. They were called the shoulder Pharisees.

Second group is called, he called them, now this was through, again, through the Talmud, the wait a little. Due to their clever abilities to come up with fabricated spiritual reasoning for putting off doing something, pious excuses with their stock. and with their lives in trade of good things, like, well, you know, I would have gone to visit all those that were sick in the hospital this week, but I was just so tired. I’m still having, you see, they want to push things away. They’re called, I’ll get to it, I’ll do it this week, when they could have done it, and none of that was true.

There was a group that was called the Bruised and Bleeding, This is a funny one. It says in order to commit the sin of looking at a woman with lust. Well, what do you do? Well, obviously you don’t look. But sometimes, you know, how can you get around that? So there were Pharisees that walked around with their eyes closed whenever women were around. Understandably, they received many bruises and abrasions from bumping into the walls, posts and other objects. Now I don’t, at this time I begin to wonder whoever wrote this, are they being a hypocrite? Is that really true? But I thought it was funny enough, I would read it to you.

The fourth group were numbered as the humpback tumbling. In order to show off their supposed humility, they slouched over with bent backs, shuffled their feet instead of taking normal steps and leading with stumbles and tumbles. And you know, it’s this idea, I love Jesus so much and I’ve carried so many burdens on.

There were the fearing Pharisees whose terror over the prospect of hell motivated everything that they did. Some people fear hell. They don’t ever come to the knowledge of the truth how to flee it, but it can affect them. And then there was the others that there were some like Nicodemus who eventually God called and they were God fearers.

So these Pharisees, what a group, what a group. Well, notice now at verse three, He’s going to begin some characteristics of these false teachers and prepare. Now, the reason why I’ve spent so much time in kind of laying out the lay of the land here in the scriptures is because all of this is going to be working up. To verse 13, but woe. And we’re going to get seven statements of woe of judgment upon these men. Well, what is he going to say about him?

Verse three, therefore. These Pharisees and scribes who sit in the authoritative seat of Moses, whatever they tell you to do or to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works, for they say, do not do. For they bind heavy burdens hard to bear and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

Now, let me just stop there. That would be like the preacher who gets up and says, or anyone who says, do as I do, or do as I say, don’t do as I do. And we have phrases like, you know, your actions are so loud, they speak louder than your words. But biblical, a godly leadership, what does it do? You lead by example, you lead by servanthood, and Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, he pointed that out, servant leadership. But in this one, he said, these people walk around and strut, telling people to do stuff they’re not doing. When preachers preach, they should preach scripture, they preach conviction, but they should be preaching their practice. And that last one gets lost a lot in contemporary preaching.

Well, it goes on not only that, and it says they put verse four, for they bind heavy burdens to bear and lay on the men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not basically lift their own little finger. They want, okay, I’m gonna be really bold here. I can do this, because I’ve been a pastor here for 30 years. I don’t know the giving. of people at church, I avoid that like the plague. But if I preach on tithing or giving, the question is, am I? If we talk about a sacrificial issue, what am I doing? Because you see, some preachers, I know of a particular preacher that apparently he doesn’t give anything to his church. I’m being bold here is because I’ve got deacons who know what my give and obviously the financial secretary is here this morning and he knows what I get. But they also know that I give. So practicing, do you lift your finger?

Verse five, but all their works, they do not want to be seen by men. They take their phylactery abroad and enlarge the borders of their garment. I’m sorry that this is what they do. They try to look more spiritual. Now sometimes, again, this is very subjective. Some have jokingly said they’ve never seen me without a tie. And I generally will say, well, that’s the holy cloth, right? Only this one really isn’t, because it has two Dalmatians with a dog singing with hearts going up. It’s a statement on love and Valentine’s Day and all of that. And why people dress up to go to church or why they do that. And people will attribute motives to that sort of thing. But this is talking about the phylactery and those kind of things. I want to look more spiritual. Now this has run into a lot of particular times in some very judgmental churches about do churches have dress code? And how much you can or will you let someone in? One has to be really careful on hypocritical standards of the self-righteous. And so when he says, verse five, but all their works they do not, all these works they do to be seen by men They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge borders of their garments. They love the best seats or the best places at the feast, the best seats in the synagogue. Greeting the marketplaces to be called by men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

That’s one reason why I don’t allow people to call me doctor. I have a doctorate, it’s an earned doctorate, but I don’t wanna be called doctor. Now, not everybody does that, and I’ll let that go, but I don’t want that. To me, the highest title is pastor. But I also have adults call me pastor, and I have children call me pastor, because I’m the pastor of the people. You’re all my sheep. And I try to use that as a leveling thing in my mind, and in your mind, and in everybody’s mind. But you see, these want, I want you to call me reverend. Oh, I hate that. Reverend and holy is God’s name. That goes once and I’m not going there. And we joke around with that. Sometimes, I called Pastor Pyatt, Holy Potentate, and sometimes I’ll answer my phone, this is the Bishop and Reverend Pontius Rick Pyatt. Those are all jokes. That is not seeking a place of race. But these guys were doing it. Rabbi, Rabbi Piatt. That’s got a nice ring to it. Kind of the wrong church kind of synagogue situation going on.

But look at verse eight. But you do not be called rabbi for one is your teacher and the Christ. You are all brethren. And this is the phrase that’s here. It’s going to go on and talk about the teacher thing. It’s because before God, we are all equal. And the Pharisees made your sin. It’s going to produce all these woes coming up in the future weeks. It’s all you’ve made yourself better than others. And that’s part of the putrefying stench in the nostrils of God. When God’s. Children act like some are better than others. When all we have is Christ. Does God love Nathan Buckman? Amen, okay, amen. I got a little lie for there. Okay, does God love him? But God loves me more because I’m the preacher. Lie, hypocrite, not true. Because you see, oh, this is the good part. Nathan doesn’t have a good thing in him. That’s right. And neither do I. And the only thing that I have that’s worth anything to God in righteousness, it comes to both of us in Christ. And if I think I’m better than he is, I’m a hypocrite. Because what? I’m acting what I’m not. I’m just a piece of dirt saved by the grace of God, and I possess the righteousness of Christ, and so does he.

So you see, that’s the part there when he said, and they were passing judgment, and they were placing themselves over. And when you get this, it really drops the atom bomb on the reality of gossip. If I’m gonna gossip about somebody, what am I gonna say to push them down and we do that to push ourselves up? None of that works because all of us are nothing. And we all have things in our lives that could be gossiped about.

Well, let’s quickly go on. Verse five, but all their works they do want to be seen by men. And they do that, verse seven, they do the greeting in the marketplace. Again, it’s to be seen by men, be called out by men, rabbi, so forth. Don’t be called rabbi, one is your teacher, Christ, and you’re all brethren, you’re all equal. Do not call anyone on the earth your father, for one is your father, he who is in heaven, Of course, as good Baptists and Reformed people, we would never want to call a priest father.

There’s some here that call me father, but that’s because I am their father. Three kids, they’re all here. Grandpa, you know, we have that. That’s another whole issue. And do not be called teachers, for one is your teacher. And that was, again, because Christ is the one who ultimately teaches and changes the mind. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant. Pharisees never got that message. We need to serve one another. And even when the mom comes and said, which one? I want one to sit on your right hand and left hand. He says, you know, you’re going for the wrong thing. But whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Question. Have you humbled yourself underneath the almighty hand of God? That’s what being a real Christian is. These Pharisees, scribes, hypocrites, I look religious, but I’m not gonna humble myself to another God image bearer that is equal to me because I am spiritual. have a doctorate. I know more Bible than you. I have pride, a source of all kinds of evil. And it comes before the destruction and a fall of mankind. And these people, the scribes, the Pharisee and the hypocrites, Jesus is going to take a series now of pronouncements of judgment They lacked the authority, they lacked the integrity, they lacked the sympathy of identity with fellow Jews, they lacked spirituality, and they lacked humility. But they all said, do as I say, not as I do. Well, he’s gonna give the warnings in verses eight through 12. And he gives this warning as far as being careful of watching out for this, what you say concerning these things, and then the condemnation is gonna begin at verse 13 and follow.

Recently, as most of you all know, I went through this whole heart thing. Really didn’t know, you know, even when we went into the hospital, they said, who’s your cardiologist? I said, cardiologist? I don’t have a cardiologist, what are you talking about? And we did this, and everything looked fine, looked healthy, had no symptoms whatsoever. Took a couple of examinations, a cardiac calcium score and heart cath, and when you take a good look, oops, In a place where it couldn’t be seen, there was a clog. They wouldn’t let me even go out of the hospital because he said, you leave, you die. So they took a close look at the heart and they found something.

I use that as an illustration for us all now, myself included. Let’s all look. Don’t look at your husband or your wife, your kids or your parents or whatever. Look at your own heart. Give it a, not a calcium score, or I guess you could, how hard is it? But to look at your own heart. Where are you trying to look more spiritual than where you really are? Where are you trying to be what you’re not? The lost people, that’s why they give to all kinds of philanthropic kind of givings and to help people and to do, those are great things, but they have no righteousness in them. Look at your own heart and take a score. Do you pass the test? Or would the words of Jesus, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, And we’re going to look at what he says about what some of those are.

And look at verse 15. This one, it’s profound. Woe to you, scribes, Pharisee, hypocrites, for you travel land and sea to win one proselyte. And when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourself. Do you want to win a soul to Christ so that you can get a notch in your gospel gun and that God’s going to like you more? Well, guess what? There’s no gospel gun. There’s no notches. And if you’re counting on that being the righteousness that’s going to get you to heaven, you’re a hypocrite because you don’t know the gospel. Brethren. We must know truth and we must not be hypocrites. We need to check our hearts today.

Let’s pray. Our Father in heaven, thank you for giving us the gospel of Matthew, who is a master at organizing a gospel and showing us the truth. And sometimes the truth about us, we realize this hurts. Father, sometimes we may even have a good motive for wanting to do some things, but we need to always see nothing, nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling. Our righteousness is all of Christ. Father, if there’s a soul here today that is trusting in their own works, may you shatter that by your Spirit and may they become very insecure and seek someone out to talk to about their soul. And Father, may we be careful to take a biblical look always of our love for Christ and our desire to serve him. Father, make us faithful by thy spirit, we pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

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