Daily Bible Reading for March 1, 2014: Matthew 23-25
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Context and Meaning: At the end of chapter 22, Jesus silenced the Pharisees. Now He condemns them for their hypocrisy. Jesus addresses seven woes at them. The first two deal with leading people astray, the next two deal with the perversion of God's law at their hands, the following two deal with hiding evil through hypocrisy, and the final woe talks of murdering prophets. The final woe is also a prediction for what is to come and also turns into a lament for Israel. In chapter 24, scholars disagree as to what event Jesus is referring. The four popular theories are the siege of Jerusalem in AD 70, the end of days, the second coming, or Jesus' imminent death. We cannot become relaxed and complacent. We must always be prepared for Christ's return. Chapter 25 begins with two parables that demonstrate the importance of being prepared. They also emphasize that there will be a long wait for His return. In the parable of the talents, we are assured that we will not be given more than we can handle. In this parable, Jesus is the master, we are the servants, and our actions are the talents. The end of chapter 25 can appear to promote salvation by works. A deeper look shows that such acts should be done out of love for Christ, not in hope of a reward.