Message: In Matthew 23 Jesus was speaking to the crowds about the Scribes and Pharisees. He called them hypocrites but something very important came out. He told the crowd that they needed to listen to what they say because they sit in the seat of Moses (meaning they are sitting in the place of authority) but do not follow what they do. He continued on to point out in great detail all of the hypocritical things that these leaders did. How they showcased an image of purity and religious behavior on the outside, but they were liars and cheaters on the inside. They loved places of honor, but they did not live honorably on the inside. They wanted to be seen as holy and righteous, but they were only displaying a false image. Everything about them was for show but they had no character or purity on the inside. Jesus was speaking to the crowd but he knew they were listening. He exposed them, rebuked them openly and publicly and warned them of their punishment. On one hand, reading this made me feel indignant toward Christians I see acting like these Scribes and Pharisees, but on the other hand, I had to acknowledge that we all have a part in this. It’s so tempting to read the bible and align with the good guys. The truth is, we all have parts in us that we would rather not see. I don’t want to believe that I might have some of this behavior in me, but the word of God is not for us to just read and apply toward others. It was intended to read us and expose the evil within ourselves that we need to address. My question to myself today is what areas of my life am I polishing on the outside to keep hidden what is wrong on the inside? What things do I expect of others, but refuse to do myself? As I ask these questions I know that God is faithful to reveal these broken areas inside me, and as I acknowledge them he will heal and restore. We can polish any exterior image we choose but we will continue to be dead inside if we insist on pleasing people instead of God.