Sermon Outline – Oct 5

Matt 23:1-7, 23-27

Acts 15:5-11

Rules or a Relationship?

Am I working on the inside or the outside?



Do as I say, not as I do.

The rule makers seem to be the rule breakers.

Rules can be cumbersome and difficult to keep track of.



Leviticus 24:22 You are to have the same law as the alien and the native born



Choosing laws over love

It’s easy to confuse following the rules with following Jesus.

Then the outside has become more important than the inside.



Matt 23:2-3  “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”



The foundation of a Follower

Being authentic gives strength to relationships

When the relationship on the inside is right, the outside will follow.



Luke 9:23  Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.



  1. Jesus began talking to the crowds and saying that they should do what the Pharisees tell them to do from the Law of Moses. How might the Pharisees have interpreted this before Jesus “lowered the boom” in the rest of this chapter?
  2. The Pharisees were good at saying one thing but doing another; a custom that evolved over centuries of practice. Give some examples of these “Do as I say, not as I do” customs from the Matt 23 reading.
  3. Like the Pharisees, being a Christian to some means that we say one thing with our words and portray just the opposite with our actions, behavior, and other words. Looking at the first sentence of Matthew 23:5, what is Jesus saying to us?
  4. “Hypocrite” literally means one who pretends. To appear as a follower of Jesus on the outside but not have him living inside means we are a hypocrite, actually a pretender. How do we (no finger pointing allowed) pretend to be a “follower?”
  5. What Jesus is calling us to be is authentic – the same wherever we are and whomever we are with. That is not an easy task. How does that change your current behavior so that the pretending becomes authentic behavior of a follower of Jesus? What needs to happen to make it “stick?”