Monday 23 August 2010

Bible Book:

"You cross land and sea to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves." (v.15)

Matthew 23:13-22 Monday 23 August 2010


What a doom laden, condemnatory passage! This is Jesus' utterdenunciation of the religious leaders. Verse 13 is the first ofseven terrible woes, all of which condemn the religious leadersthrough their insistence of very strict observations of heavilydetailed rules of conduct. They are making it impossible for othersto enter the kingdom of God yet, Christ says, they themselves willnot be able to enter either because they are focusing on the wrongthings! How cross Jesus is with these guys who have all the passionand commitment but just put the emphasis in the wrong places.

The religious leaders are shutting the door of the kingdom inpeople's faces and Christ will have none of it. He tears them apartfor their shallowness and complete disregard of what it is to leada faithful life. They use their power and influence to control andmanipulate according to their own desires, thereby damaging thosewho come for entry into the synagogue (the Jewish place of worship)and ultimately, the community of God. They base their approach onentirely false premises and offer a welcome that is artificial atbest, and at worst, deceitful.

To Ponder

Can you think of an occasion or circumstancewhere the emphasis has been misplaced and barriers have arisen?What happened?

Consider the following: the abuse of power is notsomething that we easily associate with Church, but it doeshappen.

What sort of power is Christ-like? How can we putin place checks and balances to ensure that we do not abuse ourpower and influence, but always act for others beforeourselves?

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