Scripture Reflections:Matthew 23
1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. 3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
Lord Jesus--An essential for teachers in the kingdom is that they practice what they preach. There must be a connection between what is said and life as it is lived out. Any disconnection must be repaired. The ability to have a continuity between thought, word and action is the essence of the message of grace. Grace can so become a part of my life that the message is not so much taught as lived out.
4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. 5"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;
Lord Jesus--Let me always carry the load that I am talking about. Don't let me just tell people but help me to show people the message in flesh lived out before them. It should not be about how things appear, it should be about how things are. Teach me the way of internalizing your grace and mercy in ways that don't need to be seen because they can be experienced.
6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.' 8"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Lord Jesus--They way of the grace is a way that is counter-intuitive. You call me to something more that externals and the trappings of leadership. You call me to real, honest and lasting leadership that is not about, but something deeper than perception...or even the roles that people are put in. Greatness in the kingdom is based on humility and servant leadership.
13"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
Lord Jesus--Let me always be someone who is keeping the door open. Finding ways to not close the door but instead keep the Kingdom door open in as many ways as I can think of.
Lord Jesus--In this day let me be a person of grace and authenticity.