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3. Sermon Of Scalding Tears
 Sermon Of Scalding Tears - Mt. 23:37,38

     The 23rd chapter of Matthew is a troubling portrayal of Jesus.  It shows Him denouncing the religious leaders of Jerusalem for 
their hypocrisy.  He speaks these words with tears in His voice, for His purpose is to, yet, draw hearts that have hardened
themselves to His heart of love.  Jesus spent His ministry comforting the afflicted now He seeks to afflict the comfortable
in order to awaken their sense of need.

     His first sermon spoke blessing (beatitudes) to the poor of despised Galilee.  His last sermon of scalding tears speaks curses
to the rich, the Jewish leaders in the privileged place of the temple.  Notice the contrast: those who apparently have nothing may
have everything and those who have everything may have nothing.  The Jewish leaders were rich in profession, but they were
poor in a meek and quiet spirit.  Jerusalem was a city of privilege that spurned her opportunities and responsibilities and turns
in anger to destroy the Son of God.  Mt. 23:37,38

     Christ's anger is not irrational.  Ours is often linked with pride and selfishness, but not Christ.  His words are addressed
against hypocrisy.  We may be quick to condemn the Jewish leaders, but we all have a bit of hypocrisy.  We are prone to
present ourselves better than we are.

     To the extent we require more of others than we do of ourselves, to the extent where we are harder on the faults of
others than we are of our own, to that extent we are hypocrites.

     John 12:42,43 ⇒ Acts 6:7 - by the influence of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimethea

What are the characteristics of hypocritical religion?

1.)  Inconsistency - they say and do another.  Mt. 23:2-4
      Christ's religion is not burden, but a joy.  1 Jn. 5:3; Mt. 11:30
 They wouldn't help anyone on Sabbath, but they would plot to kill Jesus on Sabbath.

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