January 14

Matthew 23

In Matthew 23 we see a glimpse of Jesus that shows his love for people and hatred of sin. Two powerful emotions that reflect God’s heart.

What was the last thing that you mourned over? What do you cry about? What does it take for you to be emotionally moved? What causes you sleepless nights? Stop and answer those questions for yourself before continuing.

Because of God’s holiness and love for people he has a hatred for sin. Jesus unleashes a heavy indictment (Seven Woes) against those who were not loving God nor people as they were supposed to. The religious leaders had a system set up that made their lives comfortable, showed them as the authority, and didn’t require them to do much. Allow this to be a warning to you if your life reflects the same characteristics (comfort, control, pride). This is certainly a passage of Scripture that combats Jesus as simply a soft, gentle, loving, peaceful, non-confrontational person. Jesus lovingly and compassionately confronts those in sin.

The heart of God is also displayed as Jesus looks over the city of Jerusalem and laments. Jesus weeps over those that reject him. It might be good to go to one of the hilltops around your city and simply gaze upon it and think of all the people that God has put you around – and weep. When is the last time you wept for people? Over sin and its impact on people’s lives in your city? Over people rejecting Jesus? This might need to become a prayer of yours, “God soften my heart to have a love for people as you do.”

“O Jerusalem… How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (23:37).


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