Tag: Teachers of the law

A Ruler’s Motivation

Assessing Political Leadership

We examine Christ rebuke of the teachers of the law to understand Solomon’s vision of effective leadership in the context of assessing the promises and performance of a modern-day political leader. Christ rebuke of the teachers of the law indicates effective leadership includes promoting conditions for equal application of laws and regulations to all, irrespective of status; focuses more on the purpose of laws and customs and less on symbolic gestures; promotes their intrinsic values; and refrains from living for display, admiration, personal honor and actions or behavior that could mislead the people.


Solomon’s vision of effective leadership is presented in the bible as an interaction whereby God approved of Solomon’s desire to govern effectively as king of Israel based on capability and habit of “discernment in administering justice” [1 Kings 3:11]. Although Solomon’s reign provides several illustrations of effective leadership, we turn to Christ teaching in a rebuke of the religious leadership of Israel for a conceptual understanding of effective leadership applicable to modern-day experience. Christ rebuked the teachers of the law for misleading the people because of living a life that suggests the law, Scriptures, and customs applied more to the people and less to their leaders—the teachers of the law. In the rebuke, often referred to as the Seven Woes (Matthew 23), he advised the people to honor and heed the teachers because of their authority but abhor their lifestyle that was inconsistent with their interpretations and teaching.

We examine Christ rebuke of the teachers of the law in the Seven Woes: to understand the meaning of effective leadership as envisioned by Solomon, in the context of God’s purpose for the promises and performance of modern-day political leadership.

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Responsibilities of Leaders and Followers—Christ Teaching in the Seven Woes



RESPONSIBILITIES OF LEADERS AND FOLLOWERS We discuss the responsibilities of leaders and followers through a study of Christ’s rebuke of the teachers of the law in the Seven Woes. He advised the people to honor and heed the teachers but to abhor their lifestyle. He recognized the authority of the teachers but rebuked them for not living according to their interpretations and teaching.

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We discuss the responsibilities of leaders and followers based on Christ’s rebuke of teachers of the law in the “Seven Woes” [Matthew 23:1–36]. He rebuked the teachers for not living according to their interpretations and teaching of the law but did not question their authority. He rebuked them for interpreting the law and scriptures for others but making no effort to follow their own teaching. He also rebuked them for focusing on displaying for others to win honor and respect for themselves; and, as a result, misleading people that looked up to them.

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Jesus teaches disciples and other people
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Though he rebuked them for such behavior, he did not try to undermine their authority in any way. Instead, he emphasized to his disciples and others that they have to respect and obey the teachers of the law because they represented the authority of Moses among Israelites [Matthew 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.” Therefore, in this interaction with his disciples, teachers of the law, and others, Christ taught about our responsibilities to respect and obey our leaders and the responsibilities of leaders to practice what they teach so that others may learn through their living.

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