Thursday, March 19. Matthew 23:1-36.
There is one thing that Jesus can’t stand. It is people who say they are religious but have no love, mercy, or justice in their hearts. This is a harsh passage. Pay careful attention to the attitudes that Jesus describes. Many of them are painfully familiar.
If you have been tracking with the sermons this season, then you may have recognized a phrase in this passage that will help decipher all of the puzzling parables that Jesus told in this section of Matthew. Notice how he says that the Pharisees shut the door of Heaven in people’s faces. That is what the “King” did in the parables. This is evidence that Jesus was describing how the Kingdom of Heaven was being run, and how it was opposite of God’s ways.
Remember this today. God does not shut the door of Heaven in people’s faces. God extends love, mercy, and justice to all. God opens the door through the death of Jesus, and offers new life for all.