Woes into Wows pt 1: From a few in the spotlight to a Church that burns bright
Matthew 23 is well known for the “woes” that Jesus speaks to the Scribes and Pharisees. The chapter is taken up with a stinging rebuke from Jesus, so it’s not the place you’d naturally turn for inspiration – but it should be! Recognising where you’re headed is the first step in taking a better path. In Matthew 23 Jesus draws on principles the religious leaders were already familiar with and exposes the way they’d failed to live up to the truth they already had. We can be the same. Just knowing the truth does not protect us from straying from the truth. God rebukes us not to punish but to protect us. He gives us every opportunity to confess, to be forgiven and purified from sin so that we can enjoy the blessings of life with Him.
In the opening 12 verses Jesus diagnoses the key issue that led to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees – pride. He then turns His attention to His followers and gives them very practical ways to protect leaders in His church from the same trap. We all have a role to play to make sure we don’t put a few people in the spotlight, but are a whole Church that burns bright for His glory and our good.