Monday, March 21, 2022
23-24 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that’s wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?
25-26 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You buff the surface of your cups and bowls, so they sparkle in the sun, while the insides are maggoty with your greed and gluttony. Stupid Pharisee! Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something.
27-28 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down, it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh. People look at you and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin, you’re total frauds.
-Matthew 23:23-28 The Message
Verse 23: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin and have neglected the weightier provisions of the Law: justice and mercy and faithfulness, but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.
Verse 24: You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
Verses 23-24 studies: We can obey the details of the law but still be disobedient in our general behavior. An example would be giving 10% in faith but not giving our time. As tithing is essential, giving time and following God’s other directives are crucial.
Verse 24 study: The Pharisees tested their water so they wouldn’t swallow a gnat by accident, unclean incest according to the law. They never lost their perspective on cleanliness because of how meticulous they were on the cleanliness of ceremonies. But on the outside, they had corrupt hearts.
Verse 25: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.
Verse 26: You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish so that the outside of it may also become clean.
Verse 27: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
Verse 28: So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to people, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Verses 25-28 studies: Jesus condemned the Pharisees and religious leaders for eternally appearing saintly and holy but internally living on corruption and greed. Living our Christianity as a show for others is like washing a cup on the outside and not inside. When we are clean on the inside, our cleanliness on the outside won’t be shown.