One of many issues I like most concerning the New Testomony Gospels is the up-close encounters we see between Jesus and the crowds.
We observe Jesus and the disciples, we see Jesus and those that he heals, however by far a few of my favorites are his tense skirmishes with the non secular leaders. Our human thirst for drama causes us to be drawn into these standoffs.
The author of the Gospel of Matthew pens a few of the most explosive jabs that Jesus exchanges with the Pharisees and scribes within the twenty-seventh chapter of his writings.
The Pharisees and scribes have been teams inside historical Judaism who adhered very strictly to man-made guidelines drawn from their interpretation of the Mosaic Legislation present in Leviticus.
Not solely did they create and handle this lengthy listing of non secular guidelines, however in addition they took upon themselves the function of enforcement. Jesus is educating the individuals within the temple when he delivers this scathing rebuke of those pious hypocrites. It’s fairly potential that the Pharisees standing within the temple might hear this rebuke instantly from the mouth of Jesus.
Matthew 23:23 states: “Woe to you, academics of the legislation and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill, and cumin. However you’ve gotten uncared for the extra necessary issues of the legislation—justice, mercy, and faithfulness. It’s best to have practiced the latter, with out neglecting the previous” (NIV).
Our creativeness paints a reddish look on the faces of the non secular leaders, one among embarrassment blended with anger, as Jesus pronounces a listing of woes on them.
The phrase “woe” is a powerful interjection of denunciation. This forceful phrase carries a way of rebuke for his or her actions. You possibly can nearly hear the emotion in Jesus’ voice as he directs this condemnation in direction of them for his or her hypocrisy. Jesus’ condemnation of them was rightly justified since they positioned such heavy, stringent, man-made legal guidelines on the individuals, however they themselves weren’t keen to raise a finger to help their society and had sadly failed to supply justice and mercy.
This passage begs the query, “May Jesus put my identify subsequent to woe?”.
The apply of tithing spices and herbs was a typical historical apply inside Judaism that was primarily based on Leviticus 27:30. Though this devoted adherence to God was fairly noble, the Pharisees had uncared for what was most necessary to the center of God.
Jesus was in essence saying, “You’ve got performed probably the most tedious, time-consuming, labor-intensive tithing making an attempt to please me, however you’ve gotten overlooked the extra necessary actions that I wished you to do.”
My pal, Jesus could be very clear that He needs us to be givers of justice, mercy, and religion. God was appalled with the exterior faith of his chosen individuals after they uncared for these three most necessary parts. May or not it’s that on the outside I give the notion of non secular adherence, however my motivations and targets and aspirations should not aligned with God?
The purpose of this drama-filled interplay between Jesus and the non secular is kind of clear. We’re to point out the love of God to these round us by treating individuals pretty and equitably and sharing mercy to others as Jesus has proven us mercy.