Family Bible Study:‘Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples. “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat,” he said. “So you must be careful to do everything they say. But don’t do what they do. They don’t practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry. Then they put them on other people’s shoulders. But they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. “Everything they do is done for others to see. On their foreheads and arms they wear little boxes that hold Scripture verses. They make the boxes very wide. And they make the tassels on their coats very long. They love to sit down in the place of honor at dinners. They also love to have the most important seats in the synagogues. They love to be greeted with respect in the markets. They love it when people call them ‘Rabbi.’ “But you shouldn’t be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have only one Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth ‘father.’ You have one Father, and he is in heaven. You shouldn’t be called ‘teacher.’ You have one Teacher, and he is the Messiah. The most important person among you will be your servant. People who lift themselves up will be made humble. And people who make themselves humble will be lifted up. ‘ Matthew 23:1-12 https://my.bible.com/bible/110/MAT.23.1-12
- ACTIVITY: Get a backpack and load it up with books, you can have your kids help you with this. Get the biggest and heaviest books they can find. Pack it as full as you can. Now, ask a child to stand and wear the back pack during your bible study. If they ask for help getting the backpack on, tell them in a nice voice, “it’s ok, you can do it”. Once they have the backpack on, have someone read the scripture. (PARENTS NOTE: if at some point your child gets too overwhelmed by the pack, it’s ok for them to take it off)
- Read todays passage
- Ask the child that is wearing the back pack: what’s it like having to carry such a heavy load? Does it hurt? Is it hard?
- Jesus said the pharisees put heavy loads on peoples backs – ones they aren’t even willing to move. What do you think He means by that? (PARENTS NOTE: the Pharisees had 613 rules people were supposed to follow, Jesus is saying they give people this huge backpack full of rules, but they don’t think they have to follow them.)
- How do you feel when someone asks you to do something but won’t help you with it? Do you understand why Jesus would be so upset with the Pharisees? Why?
- The Pharisees were concerned with how people looked – if they had all their religious jewelry on, got to sit at the most important places, and people called them by names that made them feel important. What does Jesus think about think about that?
- Jesus said that people who lift themselves up will be made humble and people who are humble will be lifted up, what in the world does that mean? (PARENTS NOTE: ask your child what the word humble means? In the way Jesus is using it, it means they will be put in their place or brought down. You could tell a quick story. “Imagine if we visited the white house and the president wasn’t in his office. What would happen if you were sitting at his desk making phone calls and telling people what to do?” answer: “someone would come and kick you out and tell you never to come back” “Now, imagine the president was just standing on the corner watching all this happen and everyone was like, ‘where’s the real president?’. People would take the real president and say, ‘you aren’t supposed to be out here, you need to be in the office, and they would take him and put him in the office.”)
- SAY: The Pharisees thought they were more important than they were, they thought they could preach things for people to do and not do them themselves. Jesus was not ok with this. Jesus is looking for people who will be humble and serve, even when they have a position of power.
- Do you know anyone who is humble? What are they like?
- What are things that keep people from being humble?
- What could we do to be more humble as a family?
- Pray for God to give your family a spirit of humility, for Him to help you learn to put away selfishness and the things that keep you from being humble.