Matthew 23:1-15New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
A Warning Against Doing Things for the Wrong Reasons
23 Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples. 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat,” he said. 3 “So you must be careful to do everything they say. But don’t do what they do. They don’t practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry. Then they put them on other people’s shoulders. But they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 “Everything they do is done for others to see. On their foreheads and arms they wear little boxes that hold Scripture verses. They make the boxes very wide. And they make the tassels on their coats very long. 6 They love to sit down in the place of honor at dinners. They also love to have the most important seats in the synagogues. 7 They love to be greeted with respect in the markets. They love it when people call them ‘Rabbi.’
8 “But you shouldn’t be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have only one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Do not call anyone on earth ‘father.’ You have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 You shouldn’t be called ‘teacher.’ You have one Teacher, and he is the Messiah. 11 The most important person among you will be your servant. 12 People who lift themselves up will be made humble. And people who make themselves humble will be lifted up.
How Terrible for the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees
13-14 “How terrible it will be for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter. And you will not let those enter who are trying to.
15 “How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You travel everywhere to win one person to your faith. Then you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.
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