Photo by bowie15/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by bowie15/iStock / Getty Images

Today's Journey Project Blog photo is not the person delivering the woes. The One delivering the woes is Jesus, and He's delivering them to church leaders like the present author, symbolized in this photo, anyone who would dare to lead others in the name of Jesus.


The structure of what you're reading in Matthew 23 is familiar to readers of ancient prophecies. What Jesus is doing here is like what the prophets did over people who had so distanced themselves from God that that judgment was necessary. These are called "Woes."

In Matthew 23 we see Jesus pronouncing seven woes, and a good equivalent translation in English of this line He repeats seven times is this: 

"It will be horrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees. You posers, actors!"

This should be horror genre reading for anyone in church leadership. We should read it this way and be horrified at ourselves in various denominations if we act this way. If Jesus visited our church offices, our worship services, what would he have to say?


Dear God, these woes are difficult to hear the Lord Jesus speak. Help us hear the bad with the good about ourselves and our behavior, not to judge others but to test our own hearts against your woes to anyone who would lead your people.


This week, become more aware of when you want to be noticed when you serve. What impulses of needing to be honored and served do you feel throughout your day today?


Greg Taylor

Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.

<squarespace:query /> build error: Invalid 'collection' parameter. Could not locate collection with the urlId: media.