Day 291 Matthew 23
Yesterday we left off with Jesus debating the Pharisees in the Temple of Jerusalem on Old Testament Law. Today's chapter is a continuation of that great debate.
Today are going to answer some extremely important questions regarding Jesus' ministry. And, as always, clear up some misconceptions about Christianity.
Matt 23:1-2 1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
What does that mean? The scribes and the Pharisees sit in a position of honor. The very same seat where the Prophet Ezra sat (Nehemiah 8:4).
Matt 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
Did Jesus just say to do everything the Pharisees tell you to, like following the Old Testament law? But I thought Jesus had come to overturn the Old Testament laws!! What is this??!!!!
Surely there is an explanation forthcoming. I am sure any second now Jesus is about to tell them that they are stupid for believing in Mosaic law, right?
Wrong! As we are about to see Jesus is telling them to practice it themselves. That is Jesus' only real problem with the scribes and Pharisees is that they don't follow what they tell you to do.
4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Does everyone understand that or do you need remedial training in it?
Jesus continues His diatribe against the Pharisees and scribes
calling them "hypocrites" three times. He calls them "fools blind" and "blind guides" multiple times. Jesus even calls the Pharisees "children of the devil."
15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Jesus even calls them something extremely unclean referring to them as sun baked graves. This all because they make a great show of being good on the outside, but in private they don't follow God's Word at all.
How many of us know Christians like that? We all know the false Christians who talk a lot about Jesus and God, but they can't follow simple rules like making their women be silent in church, divorce should be illegal, coddling homosexuals, doing charity and good works.
Sure, they'll go a country mile to "save a soul," but they ignore the law, order and justice of their own people.
Going out of order for a moment.
33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
How many times have we as True Christians™ used similar language as Jesus merely to be called hateful for it?
Continuing with Jesus' righteous beatdown of the Pharisees.
30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. See also 2 Chronicles 36:16, Acts 7:52, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15 for more on prophet killing.
What prophets were killed? I know this question has come up often times, but the answers are so unsatisfactory. They are all derived from tradition and pseudepigrapha.
35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
On the other hand, Jesus acknowledges at least Zacharia's martrydom, so it must have happened.
Some other alleged martyrdoms include Isaiah and Jeremiah.
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Indeed their house was left unto them desolate by the Roman Empire.
What did we learn today?
Jesus' only problem with the Pharisees was that they weren't following the Law closely enough.
Jesus did not mind mixing it up with the unsaved trash of His day calling them all sorts of things. Don't whine when we preach exactly like the Lord did!
The Jews murdered a lot of their prophets in their day.
Sorry I had to break this into two sermons. Matt. 23 had too much to go over in one entry and tomorrow will be more of the same. Sorry if that makes our Bible in a Year take a little more than a year.
Thank you for reading and God bless.
Christians are superior because we possess an understanding that unbelievers lack. It is through the Power of Jesus only the converted mind is able to understand what is going on in the world; what the Communists are really up to; what Satan's intentions are. Most unbelievers do not even believe in Satan and cannot understand his tactics.
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