The Doctrine of Christ - Christ and the Religious Leaders

Scripture Passage: 
Matthew 23:1-39; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-47
  1. THE LORD’S WARNING TO THE PEOPLE (Matthew 23:1-12; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-47)
    1. The Initial Audience (Matthew 23:1; Luke 20:45)
      1. Speaking to all people (Matthew 23:1)
      2. Speaking specifically to the disciples (Matthew 23:1; Luke 20:45)
    2. The Instruction for Dealing with the Religious Leaders (Matthew 23:2-3)
      1. Follow their commands (Matthew 23:2)
        1. The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
        2. Observe whatsoever they bid you.
      2. Do not follow their actions (Matthew 23:3)
        1. Do not after their works.
        2. They say, and do not.
    3. The Hypocrisy of the Religious Leaders (Matthew 23:4-7; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-47)
      1. Their burdens (Matthew 23:4)
        1. They bind heavy and grievous burdens and lay them upon men’s shoulders.
        2. They themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
      2. Their love to be seen of men (Matthew 23:5-7; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-47)
        1. They love to go in long clothing (Mark 12:38; Luke 20:46; Matthew 23:5)
        2. They love salutations in the market places (Mark 12:38; Luke 20:46; Matthew 23:7).
        3. They love the chief seats (Mark 12:39; Luke 20:46; Matthew 23:6)
          1. Uppermost rooms at feasts (see Luke 14:7-10)
          2. Chief seats in the synagogues
        4. They love to make long prayers (Mark 12:40; Luke 20:46)
      3. Their destruction of widow’s houses (Mark 12:40; Luke 20:46; see James 1:27)
    4. The Warning to the People of Being Guilty of the Sins of the Religious Leaders (Matthew 23:8-12)
      1. Receiving titles from men (Matthew 23:8-10)
        1. Rabbi (Matthew 23:8; see John 3:2; John 20:16)
        2. Father (Matthew 23:9) Note: This is not speaking against calling a parental father by the title “father” (Matthew 10:37; Matthew 15:4-6; Matthew 19:5; Matthew 21:31; Matthew 23:32)
        3. Master (Matthew 23:10)
      2. Refusal to humble themselves (Matthew 23:11-12; see Luke 14:11; Luke 18:14)
        1. He that is greatest among you shall be your servant (Matthew 23:11).
        2. Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased (Matthew 23:12).
        3. He that humbleth himself shall be exalted (Matthew 23:12).
  2. THE LORD’S REBUKE OF THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS (Matthew 23:13-39)
    1. The Woe of Shutting of the Kingdom (Matthew 23:13)
      1. They shut up the kingdom of heaven against men.
      2. They go not in, neither do they suffer others.
    2. The Woe of Perceived Religion (Matthew 23:14)
      1. They devour widows houses.
      2. For pretence they make long prayers.
      3. They shall receive the greater damnation.
    3. The Woe of Proselyting (Matthew 23:15)
      1. They compass sea and land to make one proselyte.
      2. When one is made, he becomes twofold more the child of hell than the religious leaders.
    4. The Woe of Swearing (Matthew 23:16-22)
      1. No trouble with swearing by the temple or altar (Matthew 23:16, 18)
      2. The problem with swearing by the gold or gift (Matthew 23:16, 18)
      3. The misunderstanding of the religious leaders (Matthew 23:17, 19, 20-22)
    5. The Woe of Neglect (Matthew 23:23-24)
      1. They pay tithe of mint, anise, cummin (Matthew 23:23).
      2. They neglect judgment, mercy, faith (Matthew 23:23).
      3. They strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel (Matthew 23:24).
    6. The Woe of Outward Cleansing (Matthew 23:25-28)
      1. Their efforts (Matthew 23:25-26)
        1. What they did (Matthew 23:25)
          1. They make the outside clean.
          2. Within they are full of extortion and excess.
        2. What they should have done (Matthew 23:26)
          1. They should have cleansed first that which is within the cup and platter.
          2. The outside would have also been clean.
      2. Their appearance (Matthew 23:27-28)
        1. They are like unto whited sepulchers (Matthew 23:27)
          1. Outwardly, they indeed appear beautiful.
          2. Within, they are full of dead men’s bones.
        2. They appear righteous unto men (Matthew 23:28)
          1. Outwardly, they appear righteous.
          2. Within, they are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
    7. The Woe of Perceived Allegiance (Matthew 23:29-39)
      1. They profess allegiance to the righteous (Matthew 23:29-30).
      2. They are guilty of killing the righteous (Matthew 23:31-35).
      3. The coming judgment (Matthew 23:36-39).
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 21:1

The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.