Excerpts from Life-study of Matthew, Message 60 REBUKING THE ...

Excerpts from Life-study of Matthew, Message 60. REBUKING THE JEWISH RELIGIONISTS. AND FORSAKING JERUSALEM WITH ITS TEMPLE. Bible Verses: Matthew 23:25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inwardly they are full of extortion and ...
215KB Sizes 0 Downloads 61 Views
Excerpts from Life-study of Matthew, Message 60 REBUKING THE JEWISH RELIGIONISTS AND FORSAKING JERUSALEM WITH ITS TEMPLE Bible Verses: Matthew 23:25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inwardly they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 23:27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you resemble whitewashed graves, which outwardly appear beautiful but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 23:28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 23:37 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I desired to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 23:38 Behold, your house is left to you desolate. 23:39 For I say to you, You shall by no means see Me from now on until you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. REBUKING THE JEWISH RELIGIONISTS After the Lord had been examined and tested by the religious leaders, in His wisdom He muzzled them. Eventually, He reached the point where He did not talk to them any further. Rather, in chapter twentythree, He gave them a final word. In His rebuke of the Jewish religionists, the Lord first spoke against their hypocrisy (23:1-12). [First, the] scribes and Pharisees said certain things concerning the law, but they did not do them. For this reason, the Lord told His disciples to do whatever the scribes and Pharisees said, for their speaking was according to the Bible. However, He told His disciples not to follow what they did, for their deeds were hypocritical.[Second, the] scribes and Pharisees put the burden of law on others, but they would not use even their finger to lift it. [Third], “all their works they do to be seen by men” (Matt. 23:5). [Fourth, they] “broaden their phylacteries and enlarge the fringes of their garments” (23:5). A phylactery is a part of the law written on parchment and worn upon the forehead as a frontlet and upon the left arm, according to Deuteronomy 6:8 and 11:18. The law required the Israelites to make fringes on the borders of their garments with a band of blue, signifying that their conduct (typified by the garment) was regulated by the heavenly rule (indicated by the band of blue), and reminding them to keep God’s commandments (Num. 15:38-39). The scribes and Pharisees enlarged the fringes, pretending that they kept God’s commandments and were regulated by them to a surpassing degree. They did this in order to glorify themselves.[Fifth,] the scribes and Pharisees “love the chief place at the dinners and the chief seats in the synagogues” (Matt. 23:6). This indicates that they enjoyed being above others and that they desired to be great among the people. [Sixth,] they loved “the salutations in the market places and to be called by men, Rabbi” (Matt. 23:7). The scribes and Pharisees liked to be saluted by the people in the market places. They also enjoyed being called Rabbi, a title of honor which means teacher, master. The Lord’s rebuke of the scribes and Pharisees affords us an accurate picture of today’s religion. Everything found in 23:1-36 resembles the situation today. Remember, this rebuke is found in the book of the kingdom. Matthew’s intention is certainly to present the negative in order to reveal the positive. The kingdom life must be the opposite of what is exposed in 23:1-36. It must be an absolute contrast to this black and hellish picture. Only by the mercy and grace of the Lord can we escape the situation portrayed here. Thus, we all need to pray, “O Lord, save me! Rescue me! Take me away from this terrible situation.”

FORSAKING JERUSALEM WITH ITS TEMPLE After the Lord had been tested and examined and after He had rebuked the scribes and Pharisees, He forsook Jerusalem with its temple. In 23:37-39 the Lord spoke a final word to Jerusalem. After this word, the Lord had nothing more to do with her. Verse 37 says, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophe