Matthew 23:13-19 NRSVue
13“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in you stop them., 15Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
16“Woe to you, blind guides who say, ‘Whoever swears by the sanctuary is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by the oath.’ 17You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that has made the gold sacred? 18And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gift that is on the altar is bound by the oath.’ 19How blind you are! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
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Some thoughts on this scripture
Jesus is angry with the scribes and Pharisees. They are missing the point of life before God, and they also hinder others from entering the kingdom. They are trapped by love of material things, and they have lost touch with the sacred. Their situation is frightening, and Jesus is trying to jolt them out of their blindness.
Lord, forgive us if by our blindness we hinder others who are seeking to find you. Help us become aware of how our thoughts and actions can affect other people. Bring us to a knowledge of you which will enrich those whose lives we touch.