23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides!You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!
Fox Island Alliance Church – Fox Island WA
Observation: Father, you warn the pastors, leaders, and teachers of a coming sorrow, because they were careful in some ways, legitimate ways, and yet completely missed the boat. You particularly address the outward appearance being disconnected from the reality of what is inside. You say first tend to your inner life and then the outside will become like it, not the other way around.
Action: Father, you cut right to the heart of one of my biggest vulnerabilities as a pastor, which is to, albeit meaning well, focus on the aspects of my life others can see and show my best side. And yet, on the inside I’m anxious, fearful, coping, and stuck in ways I’m ashamed of. I’m afraid to admit that, to address that, I’m not even sure how. It can even seem selfish to prioritize doing the good work of tending to my inner world—and yet if I neglect that sorrow awaits. I resolve to not hide, to not posture, and to invite you and others to help me as I prioritize becoming pure and well on the inside and trusting the outer things to fall into place.