Snakes and Vipers

Matthew 23:33 You are snakes! You are from a family of poisonous snakes! You will not escape God. You will all be judged guilty and go to hell!

Jesus isn’t always the Saviour we expect Him to be. In fact, He said and did things that, in this day and age, would completely shock us.

Jesus was an amazing guy. I’m talking here about the Jesus of the Bible. The One who walked the dusty roads of Israel back there in the first century, not the convenient Jesus that so many people conjure up in their minds to suit themselves.

Okay, so if you’re the Son of God, who do you hang out with? Bishops, cardinals … or at least the first century Jewish equivalents? It’d make sense, wouldn’t it? But no. Jesus hung out with lepers and prostitutes and tax collectors – the rejects of society, a habit that rocked the establishment to the core.

And there were only ever two things that really managed to get up His nose. A lack of faith amongst His disciples, and hypocrisy amongst the religious leaders.

In fact that last one … really, really upset Him. This is what He says to the leaders of the Pharisees – the strictest of all the Jewish sects:

Matthew 23:33 You are snakes! You are from a family of poisonous snakes! You will not escape God. You will all be judged guilty and go to hell!

Pretty harsh, I mean you can’t mistake what He’s saying here about religious hypocrisy, can you.

It’s all too easy for those of us who believe in God, to get all self-righteous about how good we are. To start thinking to ourselves that we’re somehow better than the rest, because we’ve made up all these little religious rules and rituals that we go through.

You see it all the time and there’s a name for that; it’s called, hypocrisy. And it really, really gets up God’s nose.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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