Jesus Is A Tough Guy

Posted by Melissa

FRIENDSHIPS ARE TOUGH, ESPECIALLY AS A TEEN. You’re discovering what it means to move past childlike friendships into more mature relationships with others. As believers, we have a different standard than the world. We are to show justice, love, and faith in the way we treat others. In the world, we see a different standard. The perversion of love is manipulation, and the opposite of faith is inconsistency. For example, inconsistency would mean one day I will follow Christ, the next I will live my own way and do my own thing. Manipulation and inconsistency tend to make up the kinds of relationships we see displayed in the media or society. As Christians, these qualities have no place in our behavior toward others.

Read Matthew 23:23-26. Would Jesus have any reason to speak to you like He did the Pharisees in verse 23?
 What is a hypocrite?
Why was Jesus calling the Pharisees hypocrites?
How do you display justice, love, and faithfulness in your relationships?

What do you need to clean out your life so that you shine with the light of Christ? Explain.

In today’s passage, Jesus was pretty harsh to the Pharisees for their arrogant behavior toward others. We like to think of Jesus as gentle and soft-spoken, but Jesus was fearless. He went before the religious leaders and called them out publicly. He said they put on a good act, but on the inside they were dirty and full of sin. They were greedy and self-indulgent. They were more concerned with their needs rather than the needs of those to whom they were supposed to be ministering. How important it is that we examine our own hearts before we judge the heart of another! It is our responsibility to confess our own sins to God and allow Him to cleanse us. From there we can minister to and love on those around us with an attitude of mercy and grace.

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