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Matthew 23:23-24 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees…YOU have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.”
In Matthew 23:13-39, Jesus continues to confront the religious leaders of His day by sharing a number of “woes” against them. In all, He shares seven woes of judgment.
Some scholars see these seven woes in a chiastic structure. This means that woe 1 and 7 are paired together, as well as 2 and 6, and 3 and 5. Woe number 4, then, would be the central theme of what Jesus wanted to communicate to them.
So Matthew 23:23-24 is the heart of the matter. The religious leaders have neglected the most important aspects of the Old Testament law — justice, mercy, and faithfulness.
Was Jesus teaching that they should just forget about other aspects of the Old Testament law? Certainly not. Instead, He was clearly communicating that the Old Testament law prioritized justice, mercy, and faithfulness. And these attributes were missing from the lives of the Pharisees themselves.
READING & PRAYERS:
MATTHEW 23:13-39 (also read the commentary notes in your Study Bible of choice.)
QUESTION: Practically speaking, what does it look like to live from a heart of justice, mercy, and faithfulness? Write down at least 3-5 examples as to how you can live this out today.
REAL LIFE PRACTICE: Are you doing too much?Practice slowing down and living life at the pace of your soul by utilizing the One Minute Pause app at least twice daily. The app is free, and is available on iPhone and Android devices.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, when I think of what it looks like to live from a heart of justice, mercy, and faithfulness, I cannot help but to realize there are moments when I do not see another person. I may turn my head from the person begging on the street. I may walk away from the single mom with a screaming child at the grocery store. I may get frustrated with another driver who may be going slower than I want to go. Continue to help me grow into somebody who really sees people as image bearers. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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