Jesus Speaks the Truth with Love [Matthew 23]


5"But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6"They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.

 8"But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9"Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10"Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11"But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12"Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

37"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

38"Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39"For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, 'BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'"

In this chapter Jesus tells the crowds and His disciples to do what the Pharisees tell them but not to do what they do.  They give others loads that are too hard to carry, they are hypocrites, blind guides, blind fools, and like white-washed tombs.  Read the chapter to see all the evil they actually do in the name of "being the righteous ones."

I love the mixture of speaking the truth with love that Christ demonstrates in this chapter.  He looks at the city of Jerusalem, where the temple is housed, where these blind leaders are leading the people astray and says,"How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, yet you were not willing."  What a tender picture of His heart for His people.  He longs to care fur us and comfort us but He waits until we are willing.

Jesus we praise You that You are truth and You are love. May we be humble and willing today to let You, Jesus, press us close to Your heart protected under Your wings. As we are leaning against Your chest listening to Your heartbeat may our heart begin to beat in rhythm with Yours.
Verna McCrillis, 1/27/2009