Suggested further reading: Matthew 7:15-23
This passage shows us how deplorable the state of the Jewish
nation was when our Lord was on the earth. When such were the
teachers what must have been the miserable darkness of the taught! Truly
the iniquity of Israel had come to the full. It was high time indeed for
the Sun of Righteousness to arise and the gospel to be preached.
Let us learn from the whole passage how abominable
hypocrisy is in the sight of God. These scribes and Pharisees are charged
not with being thieves and murderers but being hypocrites to the
very core. Whatever we are in our religion, let us resolve never to
wear the cloak of hypocrisy. Let us by all means be honest and real.
Let us learn how awfully dangerous is the position of an
unfaithful minister. It is bad enough to be blind ourselves. It is a
thousand times worse to be a blind guide. Of all men none is so
culpably wicked as an unconverted minister, and none will be judged so
severely. It is a solemn saying about such a one: `He resembles
an unskilful pilot: he does not perish alone.'
Finally, let us beware of supposing from this passage that
the safest course is to make no profession at all. This is to run into
a dangerous extreme. It does not follow that there is no such thing
as true profession because some men are hypocrites. It does not
follow that all money is bad because there is some counterfeit coin. Let
not hypocrisy prevent us from confessing Christ or move us from
our steadfastness if we have confessed him. Let us press on,
looking unto Jesus, resting on him and praying daily to be kept from error
as David did (Ps. 119:80).
Such is the melancholy picture which our Lord gives of
Jewish teachers. Let us turn from the contemplation of it with sorrow
and humiliation. It is a fearful exhibition of the morbid anatomy
of human nature.
For meditation: We should pray for ourselves and those who
teach us, that grace might be granted so that what is preached is
practised and the gospel is not brought into disrepute by