God’s Mission in MatthewMatthew 23
Jesus and the Seven Woes
These leaders were responsible for explaining God’s teaching to the people.
They failed to understand and live according to God’s teaching.
Because of this, they kept others from the KINGDOM OF GOD.
Jesus speaks harshly to the Pharisees and teachers of the law (Scribes).
1. What is a “woe”?
A woe is a sorrow that God will bring upon those who reject him.
The opposite of “woe” is “joy.”
Two important questions:
The Kingdom of God is where God’s presence and goodness are seen on earth.
Jesus is the king of God’s kingdom.
When we trust and obey Jesus, we are members and citizens of God’s kingdom.
2. What is the KINGDOM OF GOD?
They don’t live as they say others must live (v. 3).People like this are called “hypocrites.”
They do good things not because they love God, but so others will notice and think well of them (v. 5). Jesus teaches that we are to be humble servants, not people who draw attention to our own spiritual accomplishments.
What Jesus says the Jewish leaders do wrong:
Seven is the number the Bible uses to express completeness – the seven woes express the depth and breadth of both the leaders’ sin and their punishment.
Jesus then gives a series of seven “woes.”
The leaders teach things that keep people from believing in King Jesus.
Woe #2The leaders make followers just like themselves, not like King Jesus.
Woe #3The leaders focus on less important things and ignore God, who is most important.
The leaders focus on less important things, and miss the true meaning of God’s teaching.
Woe #5The leaders are unwilling to admit their hearts are dirty.
Woe #6The leaders make sure they look good on the outside, but their hearts remain dirty.
The leaders think they are better than those in the past who were against God.
This happened in 70 AD when the Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, within a generation of when Jesus died.
Jesus ends by telling them he will come again.
Jesus tells the leaders that terrible punishment will come upon “this generation.”
• Making sure we are soft-hearted towards Jesus and his kingdom.
• The danger of holding on to what’s familiar and seems right:
o Looking down on people of other races
o Promoting wealth and focus on self
o Defending family honor
What does this have to do with us?
• People who trust Him more than themselves or their traditions.
• People who are willing to admit their weaknesses and failings.
• People who are more interested in growing his Kingdom than their own.
What King Jesus is looking for:
1. What is the number for completeness in the Bible?
2. What is the word for a sorrow that God will bring upon those who reject him?
3. What are people called who don’t do what they say others must to do?
4. What year did the Roman armies conquer Jerusalem and God’s Temple?
5. Who is the King in God’s kingdom?