Bible Study – 23rd September

This was moved from the Wednesday night at the last minute so unfortunately only five of us were able to attend. But it was really good to be back, we left this for too long last time we took a break.

We looked at Matthew 23, in the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and the New Living Translation (NLT)

We all agreed that Jesus’ harsh words directed at, and about the religious leaders of the time, could be applied to each one of us today.  But in particular they might be directed at religious leaders.

We talked about religious titles such as Father, Reverend, etc. and whether they can be justified in the light of verses 8-12. We also reflected on what Jesus says in verses 2-3 about obeying their teaching even though they are hypocrites and ignorant of the true meaning of what they teach, (or rather they fail to follow their own teaching). There can be times, we agreed, when a preacher talks for too long, has a boring voice, or is just difficult to warm to, and yet there can still be something in their message or the readings that speaks to us. We might even think that the person preaching to us doesn’t practice what he is preaching, but that shouldn’t  stop us hearing the message he or she is giving us. We go to church to hear the Word of God preached, and it can sometimes reach us in spite rather than because of the preacher!

Verses 16-22 were interesting but  a bit complicated too. They carry an important message, though, and I think I might make this the basis for a sermon in Sunday worship in the near future.

I was going to start a series of Bible Studies on worship, but I’ll start that next time when there will be more people present. In spite of there only being a few of us, we had a really good discussion and I felt that I had drawn closer to the message behind this chapter as a result of the hour and a quarter we spent talking about it.  See the church diary on the main website for details of when the next one is.

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