Jesus Criticizes Unjust Leaders – Highlights

(Matthew 23:1-4, 23-26; 7/8/18; Pas. Baines, Jr.)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Jesus calls for His people to be clean on the inside and outside. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to be clean or right with God on the inside (i.e., in our hearts and minds) and outside (i.e., our behavior).

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Body:

Read Matthew 23:1-4

I. Warnings.

Applications –

- Follow the word, despite the messenger’s distracting life. Notice in vss. 1-3 that Jesus teaches His audience to respect authorities, even when the authorities’ lives are distraction. Let’s work on hearing and obeying God’s will, even through sinful messengers.

- Follow the word, not just the person. Notice in vss. 3-4 that Jesus teaches His audience to avoid following the sinful example of the leaders.. Let’s work on following the word, not just a likeable or authoritative person’s example.

- Practice what you preach. Notice in vss. 3-4 that those who preach or share the word of God should live by the word of God. Let’s work on practicing what we preach.

Read Matthew 23:23-26

II. Woes.

Applications –

- Confrontation. Notice in vss. 23, 25 that Jesus announced “woes” on the leaders. Let’s seek God’s wisdom about what approach to use.

- Big and small matters. Notice in vss. 23-24 that Jesus talks about tithing on both the small material things and the larger immaterial things. Let’s work on living by all of God’s will.

- Insides and outsides. Notice in vss. 25-26 that Jesus urges His listeners to have clean insides and outsides. Let’s work on being clean and righteous on the inside and outside.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being clean or right with God on the inside (i.e., in our hearts and minds) and outside (i.e., our behavior). God has much for those who obey His will.  

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