Proverbs 22:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
John 14:6 AMP
“Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.”
The Lord said to us this morning:-
“It’s all in Matthew 23!”
Quite a stunning statement.
Where does one start?..
The discussions in Matthew 23 are all about the role of the rabbi. Form and content, talk and walk.
Jesus is keen to show his followers that follow means ‘follow’. He said in
” Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.”
Two words stand out:-
Follow and Light (Life)
The beauty of ‘following the Lord’ is once you see what He does, and once you put it into practice, it will become such a part of you that it becomes second nature.
Now rabbis yoked their students requiring them to follow in a mimicry way. It was not unknown that they would walk behind the rabbi copying his gait.
Jesus did not like the hypocrisy of the elitist rabbis and scribes. He paid honour to their knowledge of the Mosaic Law, but He detested their airs and graces.
Now when the Lord gives us verses it is naturally to draw revelation from them:- Rhema.
We have to think as Sons
Pharisees only perform the outward observance of the Law, so that they may be glorified when they are seen by men. They don’t do it for His glory, but only for their own.
The Pharisees only confess with their mouth that He is God, but they don’t believe that Jesus is God.
The Pharisaic spirit is always advising, but never following its own advice.
Sons of God don’t just advise people, but they practice what they preach. James 1:22-25 is one of their life verses.
James 1:22-25 amp
” But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].
For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror;
For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like.
But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).”
Sons apply the wisdom to themselves before they even advise others to do the same. This is a safe method as it is ‘tried and trusted’.
They become accountable because they have experience with walking this path. The sons of God put into practice what they’ve heard from the Lord, and in this way they remember who they are and aren’t deluding themselves. Rom 8:14 says that the Sons follow the Spirit. By them doing the Word, they remind themselves that they are sons of God because they follow Jesus. Jesus is the Word made flesh.
The Pharisees never humbled themselves to become Jesus’ disciples and be taught by Him, therefore they never understood Him. They valued their human wisdom to be higher than His when clearly it wasn’t. In 1 Co 2:6 it says that human wisdom will fade away. The wisdom of the Pharisees is perishable, but the Wisdom of the Lord is eternal.
The simplest way to be a ‘doer of the Word’ without coming underneath the ‘burden of the Pharisees’ is being a follower and an imitator of Jesus, the Word.
Sons put the Lord first before anything else. They value Him more and follow His cause devotedly. Sons sometimes don’t like the Truth, but they choose to ‘push through’ despite the uncomfortability in the flesh, and because they want to be utterly obedient to Him. Sons do make mistakes, but they learn from them. Sons don’t need to prove they are sons.
If a man is not just a true listener of the Word, but a doer as well, he will have such a clear imprint of who he is in Him imprinted on his mind, that he will never forget it.
This is one of the most perfect ways to cast down strongholds and imaginations. The key is to keep our relationship with Jesus central. We can trust Him enough that He is very happy where we are at spiritually, but He will not leave us there for long. He wants to take us deeper, broader, higher and wider through His love.
Jesus talks in Matthew 23 about the seat of Moses,that Rabbis lounged in, dispensing law, the Kathedra that Bishops later sat in. He is telling us there is only one Rabbi, only one Teacher:- Himself, Jesus.
The eternal and enduring seat is Christ seated in Heavenly places far above all principalities and powers. His seat is eternal. Theirs – the Pharisees’ is not.
Rev #9: Jesus silenced the Pharisees earlier in Matthew 22. so that they could not interject/interrupt Him when He was speaking. He argued them into a corner.
” And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day did anyone venture or dare to question Him.
The purpose of silencing them was so that He could remove their right to sit on Moses’ seat (“kathedra”) to teach.
Jesus was in His “kathedra” on May 8th when we were married in Heaven.
We both remember Him almost lounging in a very relaxed way; Teacher.
He could abolish what they were saying because He had dethroned them and their right to teach, by silencing them through asking them questions in Matt 22:41-46, they could not answer.
From then onwards He was telling the people that they could listen to what the Pharisees were teaching on the Law of Moses but should not follow them as examples of how life should be lived.
In Matthew 23 Jesus shows Himself as the true unique Teacher after proving that the Pharisees are good on observation but nothing else. They don’t understand the law or practise it.
We feel He was telling us that much hasn’t changed about teachers and leaders today. The Pharisaic spirit still prevails.
In order to be a spiritual leader or Rabbi the need to live in purity is essential. Jesus was entirely confident in Himself. Pure, spotless and perfect. We need to mimic Him seamlessly and not earthly leaders and teachers.
That’s why we have such an advantage as to be true Sons and followers of the Way because as He is, so are we in this world. What a privilege.
The end of Matthew 23 is electric. Having warned them of their inability to recognise sons, prophets and teachers, He says:-
” for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! ””
“Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
We are supposed to be blessed when we come in the name of the Lord and not our name. Boom!!!