Jesus spoke to His disciples, teaching them to not follow suit and do as the scribes and Pharisees. For the scribes and Pharisees tell others what to do but they do not do it themselves. They require the law to be fulfilled and don’t give any room for grace or forgiveness; they don’t teach on knowing God rather living by the law. Despite what they teach they don’t follow it themselves, they are hypocrites. The Pharisees like the power title they held of being a teacher or Rabbi. We have but one father, and one teacher the Christ in heaven. The Pharisees enjoyed having ruling power over the people and spoke with legalism to withhold their power. Jesus spoke to His disciples about this He wasn’t coming from a place of gossip, He was teaching His disciples what not to be like and getting them to learn from the mistakes that these men in power were making.

            Jesus then condemns the scribes and pharisees, calling them hypocrites. He announces that they were guilty of shutting up the kingdom of heaven against men; they neither go in themselves or allow others to go in. They were attracted to religion and not to God, they wanted the power title and authority in secular places.

            God knows our inward thoughts and feelings. He knows if we are doing something for the right reasons or not. We must make sure when we want something it is for the right reasons. If we want to teach or join the ministry field we must always make sure it’s to further the kingdom of God and not for our own “power” trip. We can’t control how others think or operate but we can always make sure we are in alignment with God and how He wants us to operate. He never wants us to work from a place of power trips, greed, envy or control. We need to learn from what the pharisees were guilty of to make sure our motives are always pure and from God.

            The Pharisees strained their water so they wouldn’t accidentally swallow a gnat, an unclean insect according to the law. They were so aware of being clean on the outside yet they didn’t pay any attention to their internal state. They had corrupt hearts and never noticed because they were so focused on their outside ways. It is good to follow the commandments of God and do good works, but that won’t get you into heaven. We need to know God and have a relationship with Him and the only way to do that is through Jesus.

            The chapter enders with Jesus speaking out to Jerusalem, saying He wanted to to gather His people and protect them as a hen gathers and protects her chicks under her wings. He wanted to protect Jerusalem but they were not willing. Jesus wants to protect all of us like a hen protects her chicks under her wings.

            All we have to do is accept and turn to Him. Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone!