Family Bible Study:‘“How terrible it will be for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter. And you will not let those enter who are trying to. “How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You travel everywhere to win one person to your faith. Then you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are. “How terrible for you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone makes a promise in the name of the temple, it means nothing. But anyone who makes a promise in the name of the gold of the temple must keep that promise.’ You are blind and foolish! Which is more important? Is it the gold? Or is it the temple that makes the gold holy? You also say, ‘If anyone makes a promise in the name of the altar, it means nothing. But anyone who makes a promise in the name of the gift on the altar must keep that promise.’ You are blind! Which is more important? Is it the gift? Or is it the altar that makes the gift holy? So anyone making a promise in the name of the altar makes a promise in the name of it and everything on it. And anyone making a promise in the name of the temple makes a promise in the name of it and the one who lives in it. And anyone making a promise in the name of heaven makes a promise in the name of God’s throne and the one who sits on it. “How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You give God a tenth of your spices, like mint, dill and cumin. But you have not practiced the more important things of the law, which are fairness, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the last things without failing to do the first. You blind guides! You remove the smallest insect from your food. But you swallow a whole camel! ‘ Matthew 23:13-24 https://my.bible.com/bible/110/MAT.23.13-24
- Today, I’m going to read the passage, I want you guys to keep track of how many times Jesus tells the teachers of the law and Pharisees they are terrible. (PARENTS NOTE: in some versions it says “woe” or similar)
- How many did you count?
- Why do you think Jesus is so upset with these teachers and Pharisees? (PARENTS NOTE: remember our last study we learned that the Pharisees tied up heavy loads on peoples backs with tons of rules. Now Jesus is uncovering just how little they actually care about the things of God)
- Why do you think it was easier for the Pharisees and teachers of the law to get caught up on the rules instead of loving God? (PARENTS NOTE: rules don’t require relationship – I can obey the speed limit and never have to talk to a police officer, but if I want to do what the police officer would ask of me, I need to be able to talk to him/her. That’s how the Pharisees and tax collectors were treating God – obey the rules ignore what God actually wanted)
- At the end, Jesus says “you remove the smallest insect from your food but swallow a whole camel,” what does He mean by this? (if your child is younger, have fun with this and them pretend to eat a camel.)
- SAY: The Pharisees and teachers of the law were so devoted to following the law that they would take a tenth of even their garden herbs and tithe on them, but they ignored the big important ideas of God – to be fair with people, to have mercy (give something to someone even when they don’t deserve it) and to be faithful to God. Jesus said, you should have tithed and loved people. When he says that they remove and insect but swallow a camel, He’s saying, “in all these things you focus on the little things and miss the big things of God”
- Let me ask you a question, do you think there is ever a time when we maybe have done the little things of God and not the big things like the Pharisees did? (Example: we went to church, but were yelling and fighting the whole time we were in the car)
- How do you think Jesus likes it when we act like that?
- What could we do today to start making the big things of God the biggest part of our day?
- Pray that God would help you to remember to love Him and love people and make that the most important thing!