RE Verse reading– Matthew 23 (don’t stop with verses 1-12, read the whole chapter!) “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves.” (Ezekiel 34:2) The Bible is very serious about leadership. Not always, but often, the problems of a church or synagogue can be traced to the moral and spiritual failure of its leaders. It was true in ancient Israel. The Pharisees were both lazy and proud. Strange combination! They loved the recognition of their office(vs 6), but were unwilling to work at righteousness (vs 3). “PURSUE holiness”, says Hebrews 12:14. Jesus saw them as a sad fulfillment of the words of Ezekiel. ( Another moment in Jewish history that turned out badly.) When shepherds (leaders) cannot see past their own needs, when they cannot lead with unselfish courage, the future will be tragic. At this critical moment, we must ask the Lord to send us leaders who care for the flock by caring for the kingdom. We are in a serious situation.