READ | Matthew 23:13-39
“Woe to you, teachers, writers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the Kingdom of God in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to (Matthew 23:13).”
Do you remember the first time that you were given a key or a set of keys? Maybe it was the key to a locker at school or a set of keys to your home, the front and back doors, or top and bottom locks. Some authority figure gave you keys because they believed that you were able to handle the responsibility and that you were going to be respectful of the space.
The biblical idea of keyholders began with Abraham and the nation of Israel. One of the promises that God gave Abraham is that through you and your seed all nations of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 18:18, 22:18). According to the Bible, the Jews were the only monotheistic nation. Therefore, God gave them the responsibility of sharing their divine wisdom and spiritual experiences with other nations in hopes that all people might enter the door of a greater relationship with God.
In our scripture for today, Jesus was rebuking the Jews were not being great keyholders. Instead of standing in their truth, they often acquiesced to polytheism and worshipped idols and false gods. As a result of their idolatry, the keys were taken from them and given to the Church that Jesus was building. Today, the Church has the Keys to the Kingdom (Matthew 18:15-20). Therefore, the Church must open the door for all people regardless of age, race, gender, culture, creed, educational level, socio-economic status, family dynamics, orientation, credit history, or criminal background (Galatians 3:28). The Church must expand its consciousness to love, accept, and respect all people as the people of God. The house of God must be a house of prayer for all people (Matthew 21:13).