What Jesus Did! 'What Sorrow Awaits! (6)' — Matthew 23:27-28

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

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[Jesus continued his condemnation:] "What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs — beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people's bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness."
— Matthew 23:27-28 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus is relentless in his condemnation of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees. This "woe" or "What sorrow awaits!" does less diagnosis of the problem and speaks directly to the problem: "You are... beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people's bones and all sorts of impurity!"

For Jesus, pretentious externalism is hypocrisy pure and simple. Painting the outside only makes the death of character on the inside worse, because the paint disguises the death.

Today's Prayer

Father, forgive me for the times that I have faked my piety without repenting of my sin. Please forgive and cleanse me so that I may be pure through and through. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 19:14
  • Matthew 6:1, 16-18
  • 1 Peter 2:1-3

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of Matthew 23:27-28 NLT — "What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.