41…Messiah — Hypocrisy — Matthew 23.1-23…Handout

It’s early Tuesday afternoon and Jesus will be crucified on Friday. When Jesus offers a blistering sermon on Hypocrisy: Affirm, _______, and Always.

1) Affirm Fellow ___________ (23:1-12) Today is a great day to affirm someone in the faith. Make the call, send a text, share some encouragement. The Pharisees sat as a judge and lawgiver. Matthew 23:3~so do and_______ whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not________. (ESV) Pharisees make faith _______ for the average person. They desire to be noticed and applauded. Having a ______ on our desk or in our life is enough, right? We won’t stray if a ______ is present, right? No, having & keeping are not the same. Don’t____yourself out, rather, keep God’s law close by celebrating spiritual disciplines daily (pray, read, worship) Matthew 23:6-7~they love the place of ______ at feasts and the____ seats in the synagogues and…being called rabbi…(ESV) Who doesn’t love being seated next to the restroom or the kitchen? And who doesn’t love a good title? Matthew 23:8~But you are not to be called _____, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your______ on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called _________ (καθηγητής kathēgētēs), for you have one instructor, the Christ. (ESV) Jesus says we are all equal at the  Cross of Calvary, but if you want to be great, then serve the community of faith. Affirm Fellow Believers.

2) Avoid Sin’s _____ (23:13-15) Sin is lurking at our door (Genesis 4:7) and we need a sane assessment of our faith (Romans 12:3). To help_______ this behavior Jesus offers us seven woes, (____ for the KJV reader). ____ is a term of coming judgment. Matthew 23:13~But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you____ the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces…(ESV) They ____ Jesus and don’t want anyone else to accept Him. They won’t enter the kingdom and won’t let others enter. Woe #2—Greed and _______. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Matthew 23:14~Woe…For you _______ widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long ______…(NKJ) At the root of this is 1_______ 6:10~For the love of money…(NIV) Woe #1—They shut the_____ of the Gospel, Woe #2—Greed & Pretense, Woe #3—You ______ yourself and not Jesus Christ.

3) Always Keep Your______ (23:16-22) As believers and we must work hard to maintain our word. Pharisees had ________ an art form out of deceiving people with a promise. This violates the second greatest command. Matthew 23:17~You blind fools (μωρός mōros)! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? (ESV) The point made by Jesus is that God is more important than any item or thing. To______ how foolish their twisted logic is, Jesus asks which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? ________ placed above God, becomes an idol. Even in Jesus’ day people thought they were the center of faith. No! God is the _______, and we are to_______  our lives around Him. I know, we all love a good______ but Jesus is removing all loopholes so we will live right.
Our Takeaway:________________________________________________________________
This Weeks Reference Corner: John 12:1, Matthew 21:1-11, Matthew 22:46, Mark 12:21, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Numbers 15:38-39, Luke 8:43-48, Ezekiel 48:35, Genesis 16:13, John 1:1-17, Romans 12:3, Mark 12:40,  Luke 20:47, 1 Timothy 6:10, Revelation 21:8, 1 Timothy 1:15

Unshakeable Faith

Have you ever considered the who of Jesus? Who is He, really? Who is He to you and what does that truly mean? (Matthew 22:41-46) That can be a pretty heavy and daunting question, but it is what Jesus asks the Pharisees on one of the last days that He has on earth. Surrounded by Pharisees, who have lobbed their questions in high hopes of falling, to produce a faltering faith, only to fail. Jesus says since you’re all here, Matthew 22:41-42~ Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, What do you think about the Christ (Χριστός Christos)? …(ESV) (Χριστός Christos) is the Greek form of the Hebrew word Messiah. They are synonyms, both mean the Anointed One. Matthew 22:42c~ Whose son is he? They said to him, The son of David. (ESV) 

It’s common knowledge that the Messiah will be a descendant of David and sit on his throne forever. Jeremiah 23:5~Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. (ESV) However, they wrongly think Messiah will be only a human ruler who reigns on King David’s throne, who delivers them from foreign domination and restores the golden age of King David. So Jesus asks them in Matthew 22:43~…How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord? (ESV) Jesus is pointing out that the Messiah, is much more than a physical descendant of David who will sit on David’s throne. Listen as He quotes Psalm 110:1~The LORD (יְהֹוָה Yĕhovah) says to my lord (אָדוֹן ‘adown): Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. (NIV) The first LORD in Psalm 110 is in all caps, meaning it is YAHWEH, which refers to God the Father. God the Father tells David’s Lord, which means owner, lord, or master, to sit at His right hand, the place of highest honor and authority. 

David’s calling the Messiah Lord, or master means He is much more than a mere physical descendant. Matthew 22:45~ If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son? (ESV) The greatest and most revered king of Israel calls the Messiah Lord. Therefore, how in the world can the scribes teach the Messiah is merely David’s son or physical descendant? 

It is under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that David himself writes the Messiah will be divine, God in human form. John 1:1~In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (NIV) John 1:14~The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV) Jesus’ astounding knowledge of God’s Word and revelation about the Messiah silences His critics. Matthew 22:46~And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. (ESV) 

I want you to know, that it is time to respond to God. Messiah has come, and it is time that we accept His plan by participating with our most holy faith. Whether we read Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:8, or Hebrews 10:38 we learn the Just, the righteous, they walk and live by faith. That’s precisely what is needed for us in this time of sickness and uncertainty. Saints, it is time that we live and walk by faith. So today, encourage the one the Lord lays on your heart, call the person the Lord has asked you to reach out to, pray over them, and text the individual that needs to be affirmed in this difficult time. It will be so much more than they ask for.

The roar of the Holy One

If I were to ask you what is the greatest command in scripture? You would say…(22:34-40) When the Pharisees hear Jesus has silenced the Sadducees, they convene a meeting. Matthew 22:34- 35~But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked a question to test him. (ESV) Matthew 22:36~Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? (ESV) You have to understand that they attempted to keep all 613 laws and often argued over which was most important. 

However, Jesus gives us the definitive answer quoting Deuteronomy 6:5~Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (ESV) This is the most memorized and recited verse in Jewish Scripture because it is part of the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). Even still today, Orthodox Jews keep this verse in a mezuzah Hebrew for doorpost. The mezuzah is a small case or tube affixed to the doorframe in Jewish homes to fulfill the command of Deuteronomy 6:9~Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (ESV) The Shema is to be quoted every day. Matthew 22:37~And he said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all…(ESV) 

This means a person must love God with his or her total being. Though the Pharisees don’t, Jesus goes on to share the second greatest command quoting Leviticus 19:18~Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. (NIV) When Jesus adds this command to the living of our lives, He does so knowing that it is impossible to love God without loving people. Listen to John who later writes in 1 John 4:20~If anyone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (ESV) Jesus says let’s talk about the brass tacks of faith. The greatest need we have is to be forgiven of sin so, we learn how to Love from God. Who then tells us let’s go out and practice what you are learning, among your neighbors. Matthew 22:40~On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. (ESV)

Christ Jesus is saying to them everything hangs on love, and I will demonstrate this for you, on Friday. Did you know that if you obey the first command, you will never break any of the first four in the top Ten Commands, for all of the first four: No other Gods, No idols, No using His name, Honor the sabbath, all of these are concerned with our relationship with God. Moreover, if we obey the second command, we will never break any of the last six commands, because they affect our relationship with others.

How are you at the praxis of these two commands in your life. Take time today to work on your relationship with the Lord. Ask Him about what may be in your life that needs to move over some so that He can be the Numero Uno. Then ask Him how you can accomplish this. The Lord loves to share with His children a plan for growing closer to Him. Because as we do so, we are a better citizen of heaven that makes a bigger difference in our world here.