Today’s Thought: Fill up the measure of your fathers (January 21)

As his ministry reached its climax, our Lord confronted the religious leaders in Jerusalem. In Matthew 23 he calls them “hypocrites”, “blind guides” and “children of hell”. He says they concentrate on outward appearances “but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence” (23:25). His words stirred their hatred of him, which was already evident after the adulation he received as he entered Jerusalem on the donkey. They were now determined to destroy him. Seven times in this chapter Jesus says

“Woe to you” (verses 13,15,16,23,25,27,29).

The hidden sevens in the Bible are interesting, as we have noted in Revelation. It seems especially significant when he says,

Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape … all these things shall come on this generation” (verses 32,33,36).

The same Greek word is used in chapter 13:47-50 when Jesus told the parable of the net being

“thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age …”

– the age in which we live.

Jesus is using a way of speaking that God used through the prophet Joel; speaking then of gathering in a grape harvest, to indicate the overflow of His anger on the nations

“… the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their evil is great … for the day of the LORD is near … and the heavens and the earth quake … so you shall know that I am the LORD your God” (Joel 3:13,14,16,17).

The main application of Joel’s prophecy is to our world today. How close is our world to being “full”? Its godlessness is starting to overflow! A fearful repetition of God’s punishment on the Jewish world that rejected Jesus is nearly upon us – but this time it is a godless world that has turned away from any belief in God and His word!

Remember the final message of Jesus,

“Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth … they (the angels) were told not to harm (true believers) … only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads” (Revelation 8:13; 9:4).

How can those who do not read the Bible and fear God have the seal of God on them? Let us make sure we have that seal.



Today’s thought “The floods came, and the winds blew …” (January 5)

Today’s thought “Stormy winds fulfilling his word” (February 2)

Today’s thought “Who then is this?” (February 8)

Today’s thought “Let the wise hear and increase in …” (March 23)

Today’s thought “… in a spirit of gentleness” (April 4)

Today’s thought “Look carefully” (April 7)

Today’s Thought “You will keep … in perfect peace” (May 03)

Today’s Thought “Performing deeds in keeping with … ” (May 11)

Today’s Thought “Hear … for the LORD has spoken” (May 12)

Today’s thought “… God who tests our hearts” (May 17)

Today’s Thought “Trained by constant practice” (May 31)

Today’s Thought “We who have fled for refuge” (June 01)

Today’s Thought “To endure our trials and straighten up” (June 05)

Today’s thought “Correct me, O Lord, but … not in your anger” (July 20)

Today’s thought “Showing the Gospel, teaching publicly and from house to house,” (November 07)

Today’s thought “Sound an alarm for the day of Jehovah that comes” (November 19)

Today’s thought “For I know whom I have believed” (November 24)

Today’s thought “The deceitfulness of sin” (November 30)

Today’s thought “Slow to anger and great in power” (December 10)


Additional reading

  1. Matthew 23:15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 2: Evangelists of Gehenna
  2. Matthew 23:16-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 3: Blind Guides and Gold
  3. Matthew 23:23-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 4: A Disregard for Justice and Mercy
  4. Matthew 23:25-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 5: Greed and Uncleanness
  5. Matthew 23:29-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 7: The Only Good Prophet Is a Dead Prophet!
  6. Matthew 23:37-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jerusalem, Jerusalem – Your House Is Abandoned!
  7. Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet
  8. Already in the time of Jesus excluding real followers of Christ
  9. A Book to trust #29 God His Book, God-breathed profitable for doctrine, for reproof and for correction
  10. No time like the present
  11. Only once and with consequences



  1. Matthew 23
  2. Matthew 23 – Jesus says his disciples should not pursue titles
  3. Scripture for Meditation #1 – Matthew 23:11-12
  4. Hypocrisy and Heart-Guarding
  5. What Bothered Jesus Most
  6. Why is Jesus angry and indignant? What upsets Him so much?
  7. The Hypocrisy of the Pharisees – Matthew 23
  8. “The religious elites don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer.” ~Jesus
  9. What does Jesus think about servant-leaders? Is that what we are called to be?
  10. Woe unto you…..
  11. Matthew 23:16-26 – “Woe to You, Scribes and Pharisees
  12. “But woe unto you, religious elites (scribes and Pharisees), hypocrites! You shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in.” ~Jesus
  13. “The religious elites don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer.” ~Jesus
  14. A Litany for Pastors based on Matthew 23
  15. A Daily Purpose – Woe! Spiritual Blindness
  16. Christ Anemia
  17. Danger! Warning! Is our legalism causing us to be religious frauds?
  18. Jesus and Organized Religion (2)
  19. Jesus and Organized Religion (3)
  20. Jesus and Organized Religion (4)
  21. How to Cure the Hypocrisy You See in Your Life
  22. Scriptural Meditation- Matthew 23:26

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