Family Bible Study:
‘“How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You clean the outside of a cup and dish. But on the inside you are full of greed. You only want to satisfy yourselves. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish. Then the outside will also be clean. “How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You are like tombs that are painted white. They look beautiful on the outside. But on the inside they are full of the bones of the dead. They are also full of other things that are not pure and ‘clean.’ It is the same with you. On the outside you seem to be doing what is right. But on the inside you are full of what is wrong. You pretend to be what you are not. ‘ Matthew 23:25-28 https://my.bible.com/bible/110/MAT.23.25-28
Let’s play a quick game of Charades. I’m going to give you each a character to play from the bible and you have to try and guess each other’s character. (Give each child a character to play, here are some examples: Noah [built the ark and brought animals on board to save them from the flood], David [was king of Israel, killed Goliath, was a shepherd], Moses [freed the Israelites from Egypt by saying, “let my people go”, was a shepherd, got the ten commandments from God written on stone], Jesus [sinless, healed people, walked on water, died on the cross])
In today’s study, Jesus is going to call the Pharisees and teachers of the law “pretenders,” as we read, I want you to listen to things he says about them that show they are pretenders.
Let’s read the passage
Why was Jesus worried about how they washed cups at the beginning? (PARENTS NOTE: the Pharisees had LOTS of rules about cleaning things before they ate and did other things. This wasn’t about getting rid of germs like we do, it was about trying to make things pure for God. One of their rules was to clean the outside of cups and dishes. Jesus is not concerned about washing dishes, he’s using it as an example of how they worry about the outside of things instead of what’s inside. For instance, the Pharisees were worried about washing dishes but were full of greed. Jesus didn’t care about the dishes, He cared about what was in their hearts.)
Help me understand the picture Jesus used when he said they were like tombs painted white. What is He trying to say? (PARENTS NOTE: Jesus is again pointing out that these people were dead on the inside, even though they put on a good show on the outside. They were like a grave full of bones.)
Have you felt one way on the inside and pretended not to feel like that on the outside? Maybe you were sad and acted happy? Or mad and acted like you weren’t?
What happens when we do this with our faith? When we pretend to care about the things of God on the outside for people to see, but don’t really care on the inside?
If you were the Pharisees and teachers of the law, how would Jesus’ last words in vs. 28 make you feel “You pretend to be what you are not?”
How can we make sure that we don’t pretend to love God just for other people to see but really truly love Him?
SAY: as you get older, you are going to find this is harder and harder. That’s why it’s so important that we keep seeking Jesus every day and have a humble heart that wants to be more and more like Him!