But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:13-15
In nothing short of a railing accusation, Jesus took the on the religious leaders of His day. His issue? Hypocrisy! Ughhh, it is one of the gravest warnings and condemnations anyone in leadership can receive. It does happen to all of us to some degree… we say one thing and do another. But, when we no longer feel conviction about it, we are truly in a dangerous place. I think that’s what Jesus had discerned about the Pharisees at this moment in history. The outcome of course is the real tragedy, people are discouraged in their journey toward the kingdom of heaven.
How consistent and genuine am I?
Lord, by the power of Your Spirit, prompt me when my words and actions are not consistent. Oh, help me live in a way that makes the kingdom of heaven accessible and appealing to others. I hope I never shut off the kingdom to Your people. That would be the greatest tragedy.