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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:
There is a powerful statement at the beginning of our reading from Matthew 23. Remarkably, the Scribes and Pharisees, who were the church leaders of Christ's day, were unconverted! What a concept! It is possible to be in the right place and go through the right motions without having a heart change or a real experience with Christ. What a sobering thought!
Lest any should be similarly self-deceived, I would like to look a bit more deeply into this passage and its implications:
Matthew 23:13-15 "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."