This week’s Family Devotional Guide is based on the Scripture reading from Sunday, Matthew 23:1-12.
Scripture: Matthew 23:1-3
Discussion: In this passage, Jesus directed a scathing rebuke against the scribes and Pharisees (the biblical scholars and religious leaders during the New Testament era). What does it mean that they “sit on Moses’ seat?” Why is it important that Jesus told others to do what the scribes and pharisees said as they taught God’s Word? What does this tell us about the importance of the Bible, even if the truths of God’s Word are uttered by the lips of proud hypocrites? Why is it important for teachers of God’s Word not only to teach accurately but also to live godly lives?
Song: “Ancient Words” by Lynn DeShazo
Scripture: Matthew 23:4-7
Discussion: Consider the conduct of the scribes and pharisees. Jesus condemned them for two main categories of sinful behavior: 1. They weighed others down with burdens (and thus lacked love and mercy); 2. They sought attention and praise from others. Regarding point 1, how did the scribes and pharisees burden others? Would their teaching been categorized as legalism? Why or why not? Regarding point 2, in what ways did they seek out the praise of others out of pride and self-regard? How might we guard against the sin of pride in our own lives?
Song: “We Fall Down” by Chris Tomlin
Scripture: Matthew 23:8-12
Discussion: In this passage, Jesus is teaching His followers to be different from the scribes and pharisees. We are called not to seek titles or positions. Instead, what does Jesus call us to be in verse 11 and do in verse 12? Spend some time praying for the Lord to show you practical ways that you can exercise humility and serve others.
Song: “Take My Life and Let It Be” by Chris Tomlin, Frances R. Havergal, Henri A.C. Malan, and Louie Giglio