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---- WJD ----------

Do What They Say! - Matthew 23:1-3

Then Jesus spoke to the people and to his followers. Jesus said, "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees have the authority (power) to tell you what the law of Moses says. So you should obey the things they say. You should do all the things they tell you to do. But their lives are not good examples for you to follow. They tell you to do things, but they don't do those things themselves." (ERV) Full Text

Key Thought

When leaders do what God has gifted them to do and when they teach the truth, we should obey it. Jesus demanded that we respect those in places of authority. Jesus also demanded that his disciples (that is, us!) obey God's truth. The truth is not dependent upon a worthy life-style in the person proclaiming it. So if a person of authority teaches the truth, we are to do it. Just because that person is a hypocrite does not give us the option of ignoring God's truth!
These two principles are key to putting Jesus' scathing words that follow in their proper place. After his opening words here, Jesus is not talking to us about our responsibility to our leaders in Matthew 23. Instead, Jesus is addressing the leaders and telling them what their responsibility is and pronouncing judgment on them for being hypocrites. We are not to follow their example, but we are to practice the truth they speak.


Today's Prayer

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Holy God, please remove from my heart any duplicity and self-deception that may exist. I know of those who teach powerful and truthful messages whose lives are not in harmony with your will. Please give me discernment to know your truth when I hear it, even when it comes from those I don't respect. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


Today's Verses in Context


Then Jesus spoke to the people and to his followers. Jesus said, "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees have the authority (power) to tell you what the law of Moses says. So you should obey the things they say. You should do all the things they tell you to do. But their lives are not good examples for you to follow. They tell you to do things, but they don't do those things themselves. They make strict rules that are hard for people to obey. They try to force other people to obey all those rules. But they themselves will not try to follow any of those rules. "The only reason they do good things is for other people to see them. They wear special boxes full of Scriptures. They make these boxes bigger and bigger. And they make their special prayer clothes very long {so that people will see them}. Those Pharisees and teachers of the law love to get the most important seats at the feasts. And they love to get the most important seats in the synagogues. They love for people to show respect to them in the market places. And they love to have people call them 'Teacher.' "But you must not be called 'Teacher.' You are all brothers and sisters together. You have only one Teacher. And don't call any person on earth 'Father.' You have one Father. He is in heaven. And you should not be called 'Master.' You have only one Master, the Christ. The person that serves you like a servant is the greatest person among you. Every person that makes himself better than other people will be made humble. Every person that makes himself humble will be made great.

Matthew 23:1-12 (ERV)

 



123132: God With Us: 365 Devotionals from the Gospel of MatthewGod With Us:
365 Devotionals from the Gospel of Matthew

By Phil Ware

Join the author of the Gospel of Matthew in God With Us, a devotional that will immerse you in exploring the glories of Immanuel. The book uses one short passage each day and follows the Gospel text from beginning to end. Each day's passage is followed by a brief Reflection to open up the day's Scripture and a Prayer to show how the verses challenge you to live for Jesus.


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Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.


 
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Matthew 12:48-59 (ERV)

All of you must obey the government rulers. Every person who rules was given the power to rule by God. And all the people that rule now were given that power by God. So the person that is against the government is really against something God has commanded. People that are against the government cause themselves to be punished. People that do right don't have to fear the rulers. But those people that do wrong must fear the rulers. Do you want to be free from fearing the rulers? Then you should do right. If you do right, then the rulers will praise you. A ruler is God's servant to help you. But if you do wrong, then be afraid. The ruler has the power to punish, and he will use that power. He is God's servant to punish people that do wrong. So you must obey the government. You should obey because you might be punished if you don't obey. And you should also obey because you know that is the right thing to do. And this is why you pay taxes too. Those rulers are working for God and give all their time to the work of ruling. Give all people what you owe them. If you owe them any kind of tax, then pay it. Show respect to the people you should respect. And show honor to the people you should honor.Romans 13:1-7 (ERV)

Remember your leaders. They taught God's message to you. Remember how they lived and died, and copy their faith.Hebrews 13:7 (ERV)

 

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