Morning Reading for October 16

Matthew 23:13-33
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 our inconsistencies.

These readings (ISBN: 0 85234 420 1) are copyrighted and made available with permission by
Evangelical Press; 12 Wooler St., Darlington, Co, Durham, England, DL1 1RQ