Matthew 23 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

"Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we wouldn't have taken part with them in shedding the prophet’s blood.’ You therefore testify against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ sins!!” Matthew 23:29-32

When I was a teenager, I had a list of things I would never say when I grew up and had children of my own. Guess what? I say ALL those phrases to my kids!! They’ll probably say them to their kids. Like it or not, we are products of our upbringing.
The Pharisees and Sadducees had zeal that was commendable. They were willing to suffer for what they sincerely believed. The problem was that they were sincerely wrong in certain crucial theological conclusions, mainly in that they did not recognize Yeshua as Messiah.

The religious leaders of Yeshua’s day loved to work for the L_rd; but their works were ultimately deemed ineffective for the Kingdom, because they had been taught attitudes & opinions that were contrary to G_d’s heart. When the foundation is flawed, the structure built upon it is jeopardized. Israel’s spiritual leaders had mostly traded the solid foundation of the TANAKH for the unsteady foundation of the rabbinical opinions & judgments concerning the TANAKH. The practice of learning rabbinical tradition had largely replaced personally seeking G_d’s revelation of His Word.

Religious leaders became so consumed with the “How”, that they lost the “WHO”. Forms of worship overshadowed the object of worship, the L_rd.

What’s worse, these leaders believed they had evolved beyond the righteousness of their fathers, who had rejected the prophets. Yeshua gave a simple exhortation: Like Father, like son.

To that end, they remind me of some “church” leaders in our generation. That is, there are some who believe today’s society has evolved beyond the Bible. They scoff at conservative believers who suggest we should take the Bible literally when it comes to various issues like homosexuality, church leadership paradigms and abortion. In doing so, they elevate their opinions above those of Moses, Paul, or even Yeshua!

We mustn't accuse our fathers without recognizing we have inherited many of their well-intended, yet sinful, attitudes about G_d. The only way to break sin patterns is to humble ourselves, repent, and ask G_d to reveal the truth of His WORD to us. Then, we must commit ourselves to live within that truth, even when it is uncomfortable or unpopular.

~Steve Wiggins, Assistant Rabbi
Shuvah Yisrael
Daily Devotional, Sunday, May 12, 2013



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