This is an on-going series that provide an “overflow” of information or application from my weekly preaching. A preacher cannot, nor should not, get everything into a sermon. These will be posts that give some direction and resources related to the sermon that will help people better understand and apply the passage.
Jesus condemns the learned, spiritual leaders of God’s people who love to be seen in fancy clothes, honorific titles, acknowledgments, and special favors all because of their position. Leaders are always tempted to love the physical perks more than spiritual works of our ministry. Worst of all, we are tempted to do what we do, not for God, but for men. We are tempted to put on a show of service rather than actually serve. But Jesus’ rebuke here is not simply applicable for ministers alone. Every disciple of Jesus is called to follow after his example. And in this context, that means living with our external actions authentically reflecting the desires and intentions of our hearts. In contrast to the scribes, Jesus points to the example of a widow. We know nothing of her story, only of her loss and the resulting poverty. Yet, she gives all she has (two copper coins) to the temple treasury. She is an example of one who has put her faith in God and is living a life of spiritual authenticity. Her actions accurately and consistently reflect her heart.
This week’s sermon will be uploaded and available for you to download or listen to here.
In this passage Jesus speaks of the hypocrisy of the scribes receiving a greater condemnation. Despite the popular belief to the contrary, some sins are worse than others. Zach Lee has a good article on the issue.
I said that the solution to hypocrisy is to love God more than anything else; in Jesus’ words, to “treasure” him so that your heart will follow. Here are 12 questions to help you discern where your treasure (or idol) might be.