VERSES: Matthew 23:1-39
MEMORY VERSE: Matthew 23:23 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Song of Solomon. Write "Song Of Solomon" on small slips of paper and hand out to students at the end of class, so they make memorize another Old Testament book at home.
PRAYER: Pray that we are always humble, ever kind and compassionate, and obedient to God's Word.
SPECIAL SONG: No, Not One - (see June 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #6 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Make a list of the Pharisees' deeds on chalkboard or white board. (See ideas in bullets below under Activity.)
- The Pharisees were a leading party in the Jewish religion. The Pharisees were everything the Lord wanted them NOT to be. They believed that they were more important than everyone else. On the outside, they pretended to be holy and righteous, but, on the inside, they were wicked and arrogant.
- The entire chapter of Matthew 23 is devoted to Jesus rebuking or scolding the scribes and Pharisees for their wicked behavior. These were two groups of people who should have known God's will. They were educated, they could read, and they had money; none of which helped them as far as Jesus was concerned.
- Jesus never backed down to sin. We remember how Jesus drove all the people out of the temple because they were buying and selling cattle and other animals there which displeased and angered Jesus. Jesus told people the things they needed to hear even if they didn't want to hear it.
- Jesus spoke to the disciples and the huge crowd that was gathered around Him in the temple. He talked about the Pharisees behavior. He told the people that whatever the scribes and Pharisees told them to do, to do it, but NOT to do what they did because they said and did not. They gave others tremendous jobs to do, but they themselves would not even lift one finger to do anything. Everything the Pharisees did was to be seen by others; nothing came from their hearts. The clothes they wore were fancy and were showy, so others could see them. They loved the uppermost or best rooms at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues. They loved to be greeted in the market places and loved to be called Rabbi which meant Master, but Jesus said not to call anyone Rabbi or father on the earth. Jesus said we have one Rabbi and father and that is our Father in Heaven! He said to call no one Master because there is only one Master and that was Christ. Jesus said if someone wanted to be considered great among the people, then he should be a servant. Whoever built themselves up would be brought down, and whoever was humble would be exalted.
- Jesus then told the scribes and Pharisees what they were doing wrong. Jesus could do that because He was the Son of God and He was perfect. No one else ever scolded the scribes and Pharisees except Jesus. Then, Jesus told them many 'woes.' A woe is something very sad. No one should ever want a 'woe' said to them, especially by Jesus!
- Jesus said, "Woe!" to the scribes and Pharisees, and then He called them what they really were--hypocrites.
- They pretended to be holy and good, but they were not.
- They were stumbling blocks to other people. They made others stumble and fall because of their deeds.
- They took widow's houses from them.
- They made long and loud prayers only to be seen of men.
- They taught others to be wicked like they were.
- They were so careful to pay their tithes or offerings, but they forgot the more important things like judgment, mercy, and faith.
- They strained at a gnat, yet swallowed a camel.
- They made a great deal out of washing the outside of a cup and platter, but inside, they were robbers and loved excess.
- They appeared beautiful on the outside, but inside were full of dead men's bones (which was not something good).
- They killed and crucified the prophets, stoning them, and persecuting them from city to city.
- When Jesus was finished speaking, He said that the people would not see Him until they said, "Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord." That was the last time that Jesus was in the temple.
- Read Matthew 23:17, 19, 33. What else did Jesus call the scribes and Pharisees?
- Read Matthew 23:24. What does this verse mean?
- Read Matthew 23:37. Did Jesus have compassion on the city of Jerusalem? What did He want to do?
- What can we learn from the Pharisees?
Materials needed: 9" x 9" turquoise construction paper, crayons.
- Hand out turquoise paper.
- Place on table with one point up, like a diamond shape.
- Fold paper in the middle.
- Fold again in the middle.
- Fold one last time in the middle, so that the paper is in the shape of a triangle.
- On outside of smallest triangle, write, "WOE to the Pharisees!"
- Open paper one time.
- On the triangle that is touching the table, write, "Matthew 23."
- Open paper so four triangles are showing.
- Trace three lines.
- In bottom left triangle, write, "WHAT WE LEARN FROM THE PHARISEES..."
- In another triangle, write, "We should be humble."
- In another triangle, write, "We should be sincere."
- In the last triangle, write, "We should remember judgment, mercy, and faith."
- Unfold paper one last time.
- Trace all lines.
- Write, "WOE!" at the top of each box.
- In Box 1: write, "The Pharisees pretended to be holy, but were not."
- In Box 2: write, "They were stumbling blocks to the people."
- In Box 3: write, "The Pharisees took away the widows' houses."
- In Box 4: write, "They said long and loud prayers only to be seen of men."
- In Box 5: write, "The Pharisees taught others to be wicked."
- In Box 6: write, "They forgot judgment, mercy, and faith."
- In Box 7: write: "They strained at a gnat, nut swallowed a camel."
- In Box 8: write, "They killed and crucified prophets."
- Fold paper into smallest triangle and take home.