OPEN YOUR EYES | Lent 2021 | Wk 1: “Lent, Plays & Woes”
Pastor Mike Overstreet | 02.21.2021
Message recordings available at: https://vimeo.com/element3
“To me, the thing that is worse than death is betrayal. You see, I could conceive death, but I could not conceive betrayal.” -Malcom X
The Context of Matthew 23
- Escalating conflict between Jesus & Israel’s religious leadership.
- Immediately after Jesus is rejected.
- Immediately before Jesus’ road to the cross.
- Jesus’ final public teaching & plea to change course.
Matthew 23:37-39 (NIV)
37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’[a]”
“Woe” – a mixed cry of lament, compassion, sorrow, warning, & challenge.
Matthew 23:13 (NIV)
13 “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.
Religious Hypocrisy – the layered & complex ways God’s People use religion to present a righteous image, while hiding & remaining blind to their brokenness underneath.
In the shadow of the cross, we’re invited to lay down our masks.
In the light of Easter, we’re invited to experience resurrection in what we want to hide.
In grace, we can fast from our religious hypocrisies & fast to Kingdom integrity.