Sermon: Woe to False Teachers (Part 1) Matthew 23:13–22

Truth Taught- Jesus tells us that false teachers are very dangerous because they can lead us away from Christ who is the Key to the Kingdom of God

Introduction

Last time we were in Matthew, we began a section concerning false teachers.  False teachers are a threat to God’s people.

We saw last time from the previous text,

A.  Their Lives Do Not Support What They Teach

B.  They create heavy burdens through man-made rules

C.  They seek the approval of people, not God

D.   False Teachers Love Impressive Titles

Humility, the Defining Trait of God’s Teachers

Today, there are many things happening in our world.  We may view many of these things as threats.  Whether it be socialism and Communism within our own government.  Inflation, gas prices, evil within our government, the so-called pandemic, the Russian/Ukraine war and we could go on.  However, there is another threat to God’s people far greater than any of these.  This is the threat of false teachers.

Jesus, in His discourse with these false teachers has much to say to us today about this very real threat to the Church.

Why are false teachers a threat to the church?  I mean can’t you have your Christianity and I have mine?  Can’t you have your theology and I have mine?  Can’t you have your truth and I have mine?  What’s the big deal anyway?

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Exodus 7:8-13

Exodus 7:8-13

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’ ” 10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. 12 For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. 

As we look today at this shorter text, it’s important to note that this event is the preview to all the plagues and will show that God is victorious.  It’s also important to note that this is a battle between God and Satan.  Pharoah, the sorcerers, witches, and all the false gods belong to Satan’s domain.  I think we may sometimes forget that all religions are from Satan.  All cults are from Satan.  All false groups that would call themselves Christian are from Satan.  Everyone and everything that stands against Jesus Christ and His Word belong to the false god of this world.  

God had told Pharoah to let His people go.  Then God hardened Pharoah’s heart so that he would not let His people go.  God had positioned Himself to shower judgement down on Satan’s dominion.  Egypt and her false gods would be devastated by God.

We learn from the ten plagues that are about to begin what the Apostle Paul teaches us in Ephesians…

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Sermon: The Common Traits of False Teachers Matthew 23:1-12

Truth Taught- Jesus teaches us how to detect false teachers

Why are False Teachers dangerous?

Jesus knows that the cross is really just hours away, probably less than two days now.  His desire is for the faithfulness of His followers.  He wants them to be true teachers the ones to replace the Pharisees and Scribes. 
Human nature tends toward the direction of the Scribes and Pharisee whom Jesus will repeatedly call hypocrites.  He doesn’t want the disciples nor anyone as far as that goes to be hypocritical like the Pharisees.
Jesus is still in the temple and had just won the battle of wits with the Pharisees.  Jesus answering all their questions with divine wisdom and they, collectively failed to answer just one question.  What do you think of the Messiah?  

Now, Jesus, as it were holds them up as the model false teacher.  He tells His disciples and us as well what a false teacher looks like and that we should avoid them like the plague.  So, for us, what do false teachers look like?  What may be some common traits most share?  How can we spot them?

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Disciple Hour: Exodus 7:1–13

Exodus 7:1–13

And the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land. But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.” Moses and Aaron did so; they did just as the Lord commanded them. Now Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron eighty-three years old, when they spoke to Pharaoh. 

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’ ” 10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. 12 For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. 

1.  God Gives Moses Divine Authority

And the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land.

This section is somewhat unique.  The text tells us the God tells Moses that He is going to make Moses like God to Pharoah.  That seems a little strange.  However, in the original Hebrew, it literally said, I will make you God to Pharoah.  God is giving Moses divine authority to speak to Pharoah.  Moses is God’s prophet and then Aaron is like God’s prophet to Pharoah. 

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Sermon: Loving the Lord Your God Matthew 22:34–40


Truth Taught- Jesus teaches us that loving God is made visible as we love our neighbors.

Introduction

We have reached the third question of the leaders of Judaism that is designed to trap Jesus.  The first question had to do with paying taxes to Caesar the second question had to do with the resurrection and now the third question is focused on what is the greatest of all the commandments.  Now we are back to the Pharisees.

The first question had political emphasis now this question is mainly theological in nature.

Which is the greatest commandment?  They were not asking this question in reference to only the Ten Commandments, Judaism recognized 613 commandments from the books of Moses.  It is the massive number of commandments that Judaism recognized that they have in mind when asking this question.  

During Jesus’ day the Rabbis and Pharisees engaged in discussions concerning these commands seeking to determine what they called heavy and light commands.  This means about what you think it means.  According to them there were some laws that were central and some that were fringe or some very important while others not so important.  

Jesus has already taught us His view of the law of God…

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