Scribes and Pharisees—Last ditch effort!

Scribes and Pharisees—Last ditch effort!

(Matthew 23)

In our world where a person’s feelings about a truth is deemed more important than the truth itself, the words of Jesus have been easily rejected as inappropriate.In Matthew 23 Jesus opens fire on the men who considered themselves guardians of truth – the Law.He didn’t spare their feeling.Since these ‘Scribes and Pharisees’ placed themselves ‘in the seat of Moses’ (Israel’s Law giver), Jesus held them to account.He addressed them as “Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites!”The ‘Woes’ that Jesus pronounced upon them give us a clear idea of how spiritually contemptible they were.Space prevents me from going into detail but suffice it to say that Jesus saw the Scribes and Pharisees as narcissistic, cruel, and parasitic. Narcissistic because they expected everyone to treat them as the most important men, everywhere, and at all times. They demanded the most important seats at all social and religious events.Cruel because they misrepresented God. They neglected the most important things like, justice, mercy and faithfulness, and taught a strict adherence to the Law—but especially to their traditions. Of course they didn’t lift a finger to do anything themselves, if they could help it. Worst of all, they contradicted Jesus teaching about the Kingdom, and shut others out of it.Parasitic because they were greedy. They expected the people to look after them. Jesus said that they devoured widow’s houses. They took money off them, and even their property if it was willed to the temple by the deceased husband. Not all of them were bad. Their knowledge of scripture was exceptional. Jesus speaks of the ideal scribe in Matthew 13:52—“Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure new things and old.”Jesus warned them knowing that they would take offense.


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