“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 23:13)
In the first of the seven woes which Jesus pronounces on the Pharisees, Jesus makes a most serious charge. It is hard to imagine a more serious accusation than keeping people from the kingdom of heaven. Jesus says it happened because of their hypocrisy. We don’t have to imagine how this could be, for it happens all the time in our world. People clearly state that they want nothing to do with God, due to the hypocrisy of those who claim to represent him. That’s why it is so important that we ask God to search our hearts and root out anything which keeps us from being people who are honest with God, others and ourselves.
Prayer – Father God, I know there is hypocrisy in me; I ask now that you, in your love, would expose the areas where my walk does not match my talk.