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What Makes Jesus Mad


Matthew 23

 What makes you mad? Better yet is, “Who makes you mad?” Now don’t answer out loud!

Here in Matthew 23 Jesus is speaking to the multitudes as well as His disciples and in this discourse He tells them, and He tells us some things He doesn’t like, some attitudes and actions that upset Him.

Some of the things that are Lord didn’t like about these people were there inconsistencies, their double standards. Look at verse 2 – 3: The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them.

The Pharisees and scribes were the experts in religious matters of that day.

But they had a double standard. They would teach the people what the people should do but they themselves would do otherwise.

I don’t think it’s hard to understand why our Lord would be upset at this practice.

We don’t like double standards in other areas of life. (Dating – “I love you – date someone else. “Those who show up for practice don’t get to play” – those who don’t show up, play.)

Look at another double standard, verse 4: And they tied up heavy loads, and laid them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.

 These guys didn’t mind placing a burden on someone else, but they sure weren’t going to place or carry the same burdens themselves.

You remember in Matthew 15 the Pharisees and scribes wanted to know why Jesus’ disciples “transgressed the tradition of the elders” by not washing their hands when they a bread?

They imposed the severest ordinances on others but required nothing of themselves…and did nothing to lighten anyone’s load.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 16 to, “Deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him.”

When we teach people to keep the commandments of Christ, we must do the same ourselves.

Look at another there inconsistencies that upset Jesus found in versus 16 – 18: Woe to you, blind guides, who say, “Whoever swears by the Temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the Temple, he is obliged.” “You fools and blind men; which is more important, the gold, or the Temple that sanctified the gold? And,” Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering up on it, he is obligated.”

In fact he tells us in Matthew 5:34, “make no oath at all, either by heaven or by earth. But let your statement be, “Yes, yes or No, no, and anything beyond these is evil.”

In verse 23 we find another double standard: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

Do you remember last week in Matthew 22:34 – 40, the lawyer asked Jesus, “Which is the great commandment in the law?”

Jesus will be no less unhappy with us if we do the same.

Jesus didn’t like their double standards… He wanted them and He wants us to practice what we preach, to expect of ourselves what we expect of others, to be men and women of our word, and to keep the whole counsel of God.

But there were some other things he didn’t like as well about these people. He didn’t like their motives. Look at verses 5 – 12:

Vs. 5  But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men…Verse 6: They love the place of honor… And the chief seats…. And verse 7… And the respectful greetings such as Rabbi…vs. 9…father and vs. 10…leaders.”

These men desired these titles for self-glorification.

Now look at verse 13. Jesus didn’t like the hindrance these men were to others: “Woe to you; scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

One last thing that Jesus didn’t like; verse 15: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,, because you travel about on see and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourself.”

Sometimes we see preachers today to build their own following rather than a following for Christ.

These are just a few ways to upset our Lord. Ways which he too will say to us, “Woe unto you.”