A Matter of the Heart
New International Version
29"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!
33"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
Wow, Jesus really hated what the Pharisees did. "Snakes! Brood of vipers!" he called them, just as John the Baptist is recorded in Matthew 3 as having done.
The issue that both John and Jesus seemed to focus on was how "lost" the Pharisees were in the outer things. They missed the point that God simply wants our hearts and instead made a system of rules and regulations that were impossible to maintain and in so doing misled all those who came to them for guidance.
I guess any of us who aspire to speak of God had better really be laying our hearts open before God and listening closely to him first. Anything less is just too dangerous. It's easy to look down on the Pharisees and forget that we can so easily get lost in outer things too.
Prayer: Dear Lord, the simple act of giving you my heart and asking you to keep it pure and set on you is my prayer this morning. I want to stay so close to you that I feel your heartbeat and find mine synchronizing with it. I confess that my heart is often so far from yours and so hard in comparison.
Psalm 86:11Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
Ezekiel 11:19I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.