01 Feb Matthew 23:13-17
13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore, you will receive greater condemnation. 15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. 16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever * swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever * swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ 17 “You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold?
It is the poor in spirit who enter the Kingdom, but the proud will keep themselves out and can be a hindrance to others entering in. Jesus is the only way to heaven, not by man-made traditions. The Pharisees used their religion to get money from people. They rejected God’s way of salvation. We must not confuse our priorities and desire the benefits of God rather than the Benefactor.