Matthew 23-24~ Day 12~ Deception in the Church

Chapter 23 starts off by addressing the Pharisees:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”

The seven woes for the teachers of the law and the Pharisees revealed two things to me. First, Jesus hates hypocrisy. We therefore, must strive to be people that honor our words. Second, Jesus has a high expectation for religious leaders and teachers. I have recently had discussions about rebuking blatant sin in other believers lives. The argument being that 1) we need to self-reflect and make sure we do not have a log in our own eye while the other has a speck in their own, but also, 2) we have been called to encourage as well as hold other Christian brothers and sisters accountable as members of the same church body. Well, there are also times that we may hear false teachings. I think we have an obligation to notify the teacher of their inaccuracies as Jesus did here with the Pharisees. If they are proclaiming Jesus, but then associating blatantly wrong doctrine with him, I believe this should be rebuked .(if you are in a close position with the teacher, it comes from a place of love, and your actions are to better the church body.) Being verbal about truths, even within the church, will likely lead to protecting other members that are prone to being deceived.


I think the average congregant would not feel they had enough theologic teaching under their belt to challenge a pastor on their doctrine. Yet, being a Bible believing Christian, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us in all things. (John 16:13) I often tell my grown children, "Don't underestimate the God given wisdom you have." That being said, I agree that if there is blatant errors in teaching, it needs to be addressed.
My favorite way of doing that is to ask questions, as Jesus did. It's a great way to get people to think about what they are saying.
Did you know someone counted up all the questions Jesus asked? He asked over 100 questions!!
i.e. "Why do you break the commandments of God for the sake of your tradition?" ( Matt.15:3), "But who do you say I am?" (Matt.16:15) and "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and not do what I command?" (Luke 6:46).

It is true, wrong things will be said! I giggle when I read the Proverb, "When words are many, sin is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips are wise." (10:19) Being a teacher requires using many words, so I am sure errors could be made.
Fortunately, the New Testament gives specific instructions on how to go about dealing with someone who is in the wrong! (Matt. 18:15-17)

Praise the Lord he has given us such a good instruction manual!!

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