PART 2 The EIGHT Woes Jesus Used on the Pharisees STILL Apply Today
Jesus teaching the Woes 5 to 8
PART 2 Jesus Preaching the Woes 5 to 8
I trust that this series is blessing your hearts not confounding your minds or heads. SAY Amen or Oh My! If your having a hard time with any of it please email me and we will clear up any misconceptions. OK?
We left off Part 1 talking about the heart and its priorities, even back then they knew they were supposed to bring their gifts before God, but until they got their motive right as to why they gave instead of the amount being the priority they were missing the mark taught by the Scriptures for us today. If you feel your not blessed according to His Promises check your heart, it could turn things around from Heaven.
The Fifth Woe: They DID tithe but they left the Others undone.
Matthew 23:23-24-25 Simply put the Pharisees were good at acting the part to look good but not really DOING it according to Scripture teaching. (Right now if your judging someone else in Hubpages beware, your in that same bracket) Notice Jesus DID say they tithed, they obeyed Mosaic Law with their giving of their herbs, mint and cummin; they stuck to their duty of tithing in even the tiniest detail, but still Jesus called them hypocrites again did He not? What Jesus taught explained in plain English was Yea you tithe and thats ok but then you OMIT the MORE necessary things like justice, mercy and faith. Now the Lord comes down on them again by calling them blind guides. In other words again completely out of balance with the WORD, they were leading those they were supposed to teach, to do the opposite of total bible teaching. Very important point:: Don't worry about the little things only and forget the more important things because that will get you into hot water scripturally. Next He told them “they strain at a gnat” This intrigued me so I went looking in Scripture, how this would fit in here. I found back then the Jews had a habit of straining their wine, to be able to keep themselves from drinking anything unclean. Jesus here in the Greek used the word “diulizo” meaning they would literally strain that wine continually to get it to purity and then to avoid uncleanliness as this was frowned on by Mosaic Law drink it instantly, thinking it made them pure. But inside their hearts is where Jesus wanted to go and He adds this “but within they are full of extortion and excess (self indulgence) Jesus says plainly the Pharisees are wrongfully extorting from their own house and in their self indulgence and smugness are not keeping the Father's Word or Mosaic law in its entirety. Please also remember they were supposed to KNOW better. They were the KEEPERS even though they were misguided.
The Sixth Woe: They cleansed only the outside of the cup.
Matthew23:25-26 Hand in hand with woe #5 Jesus adds this biting accusation against the Pharisees. Today that wouldn't mean much, but back then it was revealing their true identities, and they ignored the Holy Spirit. They were far more interested in being right for appearance's sake, taking great pains to do so, and show people a nice picture, like many Christians might do today to impress their neighbors, and friends but it is their immediate family that suffers from their wicked ways. Here in the past I have been guilty of doing exactly that also, but by the Grace of God finally clued in, unlike these self appointed demi gods who wanted to be approved by their peers and followers as being good. Do you get that image, outside (to others) they were like doves, while insideJesus said, they were more like ravenous wolves (Mark 12:38 to40 inclusive) ready to devour some poor widow's pension, or 1 up anyone else at all events living by the creed of appearance not Faith. That is why Jesus told them to “clean their cup and platter” In this analogy I understand the cup and platter refers to our lifestyles. IF you live a real sinful lifestyle right now then this applies to you brothers and sisters. Cleanse your hearts before God first, repent and ask HIS Forgiveness, and give yourselves a real chance to get it right with God, and be pleasing to Him fit for Service in His Kingdom.
THE WORD is OUR Roadmap to Heaven
The Seventh Woe: They were whited sepulchres, full of dead man's bones.
Matthew 23:27-28. Now when you first read this you would think Jesus was again reaffirming their need to be clean outside and inside, and HE was, but when you study it out for yourself it becomes a lot clearer of a picture. Back then the Jews, when a grave was put up, to avoid any uncleanliness, (remember they were unclean just by touching anything dead) they would paint all the tombstones white, to help others walking around avoid running into the stones. So to escape ceremonial pollution (which still is a Jewish no-no according to Mosaic Law) they would paint (KJV whitewash) the tombstones making them more visible and easier to miss in their travels. Also its good to note here, that a lot of dead people were not buried in proper cemetaries as they are today. So then if they saw a whitewashed tombstone, they avoided contact with it at all costs. Another interesting fact; anytime that tombstone would begin to get weather wearied, you could go to the authorities and get it re-painted. The Pharisees were like these whitewashed tombstones on the outside but inside were like that hole full of dead bones. They really needed to GO to God for themselves, get a life, and clean up their acts as we all do today with God on a daily or weekly basis, when needed. No doubt by now Jesus had their heads spinning as HE explained HIS Viewpoint but they in spite of their own “teachings” just couldn't get it as many, even now today whom refuse to accept the Lord do. Don't be a cold mausoleum or tomb rigid and cold dead on the inside. IN Christ there is a freedom, the Pharisees missed it will you? The Living New Testament Bible puts verse 28 this way. “You try to look like saintly men and women but underneath those pious robes of yours, are hearts besmirched (full of pretense) with every sort of hypocrisy and sin.” Nuff said!
The Eighth Woe: they built the tombs of the prophets, but rejected the Prophets of their day.
Matthew 23: 29 to 33 inclusively. At first glance, I looked at this and said so what? How does that apply to me today? Then as I read it over and over again finally the light clicked on inside my heart. Bare with me here will you? First, this of all the 8 woes mentioned is the worst seething condemnation Jesus ever let them hear. He kept going on the theme of tombs (He knew they were dead, they still didn't get it at all) He used words like vipers, (little snakes than can attach themselves to a human and in a matter of minutes suck the life out, leaving them paralyzed and dead)then serpents, (known for their biblical cunning and trickery like the devil used on Adam and Eve in the great temptation to sin in the Garden of Eden). Notice they just were not pretenders anymore (hypocrites) but had gone downhill humanly speaking, graduating to the lowest of the low classes they could attain. Human perverseness at its worst, it wasn't only the fact they glorified all the high priests from Mosaic Law, put up statues in their name as long as they agreed with them, they rejected the true Prophets who spoke contrarily to what they believed they had been taught. In verse 30 they even try to justify their argument, Jesus says, they rejected the Word, and in many cases even killed His Prophets, (John the Baptist for one and there were many recorded in the Bible), that because of their stubborn spiritual blindness they missed the mark completely. These so called leaders were not leading according to the True Word, but according to traditions of men, and so many rules, they themselves couldn't follow them all, but as long as the general public bought it then it was all good. This is when He compared them to snakes and blood suckers literally, who don't practice what they preach, and would rather have the praise and flattery of men, rather than God's Ways and Blessings.
So to sum up quit judging and leave it up to God, Check your own hearts first, Keep yourself away from evil as much as possible, LOOK to the Lord for guidance, and spiritual food, don't be a pretender, and quit comparing yourself to others. THAT will keep you busy for a quite awhile in itself as it does me. AMEN!!
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