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Read Matthew 23:1-12

Read Matthew 23:1-12

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples. 2“The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees are the authorized interpreters of Moses’ Law. 3So you must obey and follow everything they tell you to do; do not, however, imitate their actions, because they don’t practise what they preach. 4They tie on to people’s backs loads that are heavy and hard to carry, yet they aren’t willing even to lift a finger to help them carry those loads. 5They do everything so that people will see them. Look at the straps with scripture verses on them which they wear on their foreheads and arms, and notice how large they are! Notice also how long are the tassels on their cloaks!v 6They love the best places at feasts and the reserved seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted with respect in the market places and to be called ‘Teacher’. 8You must not be called ‘Teacher’, because you are all members of one family and have only one Teacher. 9And you must not call anyone here on earth ‘Father’, because you have only the one Father in heaven. 10Nor should you be called ‘Leader’, because your one and only leader is the Messiah. 11The greatest one among you must be your servant. 12Whoever makes himself great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be made great.


Jesus sternly challenges our habit of valuing appearances so highly we forget about our hearts.


Lord, help me to be humble and honest about who I am; simply a sinner in need of your help and blessed by your grace.

5 23.5 a: Mt 6:1
23.5 b: Dt 6:8
23.5 c: Nu 15:38
v tassels on their cloaks: These tassels were worn as a sign of devotion to God (see Num 15.37–41).
11 23.11: Mt 20:26, 27; Mk 9:35; 10:43, 44; Lk 22:26
12 23.12: Lk 14:11; 18:14

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