Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, 3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you- but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues 7 and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Our text today gives us symptoms of spiritual sickness the cause of which is sin.
1. Preaching the truth but not practicing the truth. verse 3
2. Making life hard for people, but do nothing to help them. verse 4 Example: We tell people it is wrong to live together before marriage, but don't help the two people find a solution on how to live apart before they get married.
3. Seeking to impress people, gain praise from man and be honored above others by getting the best seats. verses 5-7
4. Seeking to be served rather than serving. verse 11
5. Exalting ourselves rather than waiting to be exalted. verse 12
The above five points are symptoms of spiritual sickness caused by sin. The cure is to repent of our sin, believe the gospel (Mark 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 10:9), and begin to practice the truth, the Word of God.
We must learn the truth by systematically reading the Bible. If you have never read through the entire Bible, I suggest you begin by reading Genesis 1-11 and then begin in Matthew and read through to Revelation. Repeat the process three times and then read through the entire Bible chronologically reading some in the Old Testament and some in the New Testament each day.
We practice the truth by faith in the Son of God using the grace (resources of God) He has given us (Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 12:9). Faith is attempting to be and do God's will expecting Him to fulfill our attempt with His power (2 Thessalonians 1:11)
No person is incurable in God's sight. All who suffer from sin can be cured by the blood of Christ shed on the cross. We receive the cure for sin by repenting of our sin and believing the gospel. We live a healthy spiritual life by daily staying in the Word of God and by letting God's Word diagnose sin symptoms in our life. If we have sin symptoms, we repent, confess our sin to God and begin again to live the truth (Revelation 2:5, 1 John 1:9; Galatians 5:16).