v3b Do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
Jesus’ last words to his people are ones of deep lament. Seven ‘woes’ are directed against the religious leaders whose teaching role in the synagogue was God-given. Yet they did not practice what they preached; they rejected God’s kingly rule in their own lives; their worship was a formality; justice, mercy and faith wasn’t a priority for them; there was a failure to distinguish between external correctness and internal purity. Five times they are called ‘blind’ and six times ‘hypocrite’.
If this passage were to be laid out as a list with tick boxes then it’s likely that most of us would be guilty of quite a few of the ‘woes’. We all fall short of God’s standards. Thankfully, by the cross, we are able to gain forgiveness and cleansing through the same loving Jesus ‘who longed to gather his children together’. (v37)
Father God, help me to make time to examine my life, confess my sins, repent, and give thanks for your forgiveness. Amen.