Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: Continuing Matthew Chapter 23 --v13-24

Chapter 23 of Matthew is filled with Jesus' judgements of the Pharisees. They were guilty of all of these things. How many of these are we guilty of today? Or false teachers guilty of them? We have much to learn. Verses 13 and 14 alone speaks of being stumbling blocks to others, extorting the widows and long prayers meant more for show than for praise or worship. Verse 15 tells of going far and wide to find one convert --only to turn him even more evil than the Pharisees because of what they taught. 
  Jesus' commandments are simple and few; they aren't hard to understand and they shouldn't be that hard to follow. Love God with all you heart and soul and mind; love your neighbor as yourself; forgive someone who does you wrong. Yes, there are other things we need to do in order to be saved and go to heaven.  I'll work more on those in another post.  The Pharisees went past the laws of God and added their own laws which they saw as just as important if not more important than what God had set up.  Where it involves issues  where the bible speaks, we should speak also. If the bible is silent on a matter we should be silent also. But in order to know when to speak and when to keep silent we must read and pray.
 The next few verses focus on what you can and can't swear by according to the Pharisees.  We shouldn't be swearing by anything or anyone, but to say that swearing on the gift laid on the altar is worse than swearing by the altar itself? The altar was built according to God's standard and used for God's purposes. To swear by it cheapens it.
 23. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy,  and faith : these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the others undone.
24. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.
Stop worrying over tiny things and pay attention to the important matters.  Little things would be things like wondering why she wore that outfit to church rather than being glad she came to worship and to learn. Getting huffy over something someone said rather than realizing your own mistakes at other times and just plain forgiving them. Getting upset because the Lord's Supper was taken after the sermon and not before. After all, your last congregation did it the right way. There is no "right" way to do that other than partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine as part of the first day of the week worship.  The order of worship is set by the men of the congregation or the elders. 
 Let us all love one another, forgive one another, and seek to learn more about how God wants us to live.

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