In the world, men seek position, they seek to be acknowledged by others. But Jesus says the greatest in the kingdom of heaven are those that serve. Gods kingdom doesn’t work as the world does. Gods kingdom is different and Jesus explains not only the resurrection that will occur in the end but that life as we know it will also be different. Jesus lists all the ways men seek to exalt themselves and also the ways men present themselves so others will follow them, but this is not the way to greatness in God’s kingdom. The servant is the greatest in God’s eyes.
Give to Caesar the Things of Caesar
You Are Mistaken, Because You Do Not Know the Scriptures
According to “the Jewish law, if a man dies without children, his brother must marry his widow. In this way he can raise a son and heir for his dead brother. This is called levirate marriage, and enables a man’s name to live on after his death (Deuteronomy 25:5–6). It’s a kind of ‘resurrection’ without involving heaven or an afterlife.1 and it is this law the Sadduccees wanted to use to get Jesus to say there was no resurrection. Instead, Jesus pointed out their error in
Matthew 22:29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God!
What we understand about God is mostly based on our human experience with some revelation as we have learned through the scriptures. And here, Jesus tells us something about life in “the resurrection”. There won’t be procreation as there is on the earth and there won’t be marriage either.
Which Commandment is Greatest
How Then Does David Call Him ‘Lord’
The Greatest Among You Will Be Your Servant
After being challenged by the scribes and the Pharisees, Jesus speaks in
Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples,
and he told them to honor the position of these men because they “sit on the seat of Moses” in Matthew 23:2 and the people should honor them for that and obey the law of Moses as he says in
Matthew 23:3 Therefore do and observe everything that they tell you, but do not do as they do, for they tell others to do something and do not do it themselves.
Jesus says these men do these things “to be seen by people” in Matthew 23:5 and because “they love the place of honor” in Matthew 23:6 and they love the “greetings in the marketplaces” in Matthew 23:7. Then Jesus says in
Matthew 23:8–10 But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ because one is your teacher, and you are all brothers, 9 And do not call anyone your father on earth, for one is your heavenly Father. 10 And do not be called teachers, because one is your teacher, the Christ.
These people take the seat of God, of Jesus himself as they exalt themselves above their brothers. In Christ, Jesus says
Matthew 23:11–12 And the greatest among you will be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
For Which is Greater, the Gold or the Temple That Makes Holy?
Jesus says “woe to you, scribes and Pharisees” seven times, six times also calling them hypocrites.
- they shut up the kingdom of heaven and prevent others from entering
- they search for others to covert and make them worse
- they swear by the gold of the temple
- they tithe on the littlest things and neglect justice and mercy
- they are clean on the outside but full of greed and self-indulgence
- they appear righteous but are full of lawlessness
- they kill the prophets
These have turned the priesthood into their own self serving source of money from the people. Yet, Jesus calls them blind and then asks them in
Matthew 23:19 Blind people! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift holy?
They have missed the position of God in their lives. He is the Holy one.
Inside They Are Full of Greed and Self-Indulgence!
- Matthew 22:23–33 You Are Mistaken, Because You Do Not Know the Scriptures
- Matthew 23:1–12 The Greatest Among You Will Be Your Servant
- Matthew 23:13–24 For Which is Greater, the Gold or the Temple That Makes Holy?
- Matthew 22:15-46
- Matthew 23:1-36
- 1. Knowles, A. (2001). The Bible guide (1st Augsburg books ed., p. 431). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg.