Sunday, December 24, 2006

Scribes, Pharisees, and other Hypocrites

It's time to talk about the memory verse:

Matthew 5:20 (King James Version)
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

It was in Vacation Bible School, many, many years ago. Mrs. Waller led the recitation, time after time, and by the Friday commencement, most of us had it.

From viewing the Saturday westerns at the local Pal Theatre, we knew the bad guys from the good guys. We couldn't even spell Pharisee, much less understand the meaning of the term, but we accepted that they were the bad guys.

At the risk of being called anti-semitic, I will say that the leadership that led to Jesus's crucifixion was the Jewish leadership, namely the people to whom Jesus referred when he talked about the scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites. Jesus did not seek enemies, but they became his enemies.

Jesus was love, showed love, preached love, and asked his followers to love one another as He loved them. Jesus's legalistic enemies weren't about love. They were about beating people over the head with the law, not about showing the love of the Father. Jesus said that He was not about destroying the law, but fulfilling it.

Read the following verses and use my Bible link to find more:

Matthew 23
23Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

24Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

27Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

During Jesus's time on earth the conditions were similar as to what we have today, in which the religion, politics, power and corruption can be found in the same indidividuals and in the same groups of people.

Jeremiah the Bullfrog might paraphrase: Woe to the world... All the boys and girls... Woe to the fishes in the deep, blue sea... Woe to you and me....
To be continued.

No comments: