Lord, where I am blind, help me to see. Help me to understand things for what they really are.[separator style_type=”single” top_margin=”20″ bottom_margin=”20″ sep_color=”#d3d3d3″ border_size=”” icon=”fa-align-left” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]
Read: Matthew 23:13-24
 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.   “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.  “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’  You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?  You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’  You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?  Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.  And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it.  And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices-mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law-justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.  You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
Reflect: Do you see the value of God’s priorities as reflected here?
An angry Jesus can make us uncomfortable, not just because a benign God is more appealing. Sometimes his criticism of the religious can reflect back on us, too.
As Jesus begins to utter seven “woes” to the Pharisees, he repeatedly uses the metaphor of blindness, twice calling them “blind guides” (16,24). Despite his anger, these words are chosen carefully. Blind people can’t, in the physical sense, guide others; they need guides themselves. So the Pharisee way is upside down in Jesus’ eyes; they’re telling others what to do when their own lives need to be realigned.
This is a challenge for all who lead. When we help guide others, are we leading them closer to God or actually pulling them in the wrong direction? A good leader needs God-given vision. Indulging our pride or self-righteousness, like the Pharisees, can impair our ability to lead others clearly.
As Jesus explains in verse 23, vision impairment can cause us to read only half of the law–the religious part. Justice, mercy and faithfulness are equally important, and they are incompatible with a hypocritical lifestyle.[separator style_type=”single” top_margin=”20″ bottom_margin=”20″ sep_color=”#d3d3d3″ border_size=”” icon=”fa-exchange” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]
Consider the example you are leaving for friends, children, co-workers. Ask Jesus to examine and set things right.
God, renew my vision, so that I might rightly see what it means to follow and serve You.[/one_full][/fullwidth]