Thursday, March 17, 2016

Matthew 23 Woe to the Pharisees

SLIDE 1 Last week Jesus indicated the Pharisees in the parable of the King’s Wedding Feast and previously the parable of the wicked husbandman. Now Jesus no longer cloaks his message in a parable but speaks plainly of the scribes and Pharisees.     
Matthew 23
·         Explanation to the Crowds
·         Condemnation of the Pharisees
·         Lamentation over Jerusalem
Jesus spends the first half of this chapter explaining to the crowds the false concepts of righteousness, ministry, and greatness displayed by the Pharisees. No doubt they were shocked because the Pharisees were considered righteous. Jesus still recognized their official capacity as teachers of the law. (the seat of Moses) "Synagogues had a stone seat at the front where the authoritative teacher sat and instructs the crowd. “Clarke
 Jesus instructed the crowds to “to practice and observe whatever they tell you---but not what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” The Pharisees crush people with unbearable religious demands but they neglected them themselves. These religious leaders were burden bringers; Jesus was a burden taker. Remember following rules won’t get you into heaven. There is salvation in no one else but Jesus.
SLIDE 2 *How many of you really like football? Do you have a jersey or hat for your favorite team? The weeks before the Super Bowl everybody and their grandmother wore a Panthers’ shirt. Our outward dress shows our passion. Do you think these guys want attention from the cameras?
SLIDE 3 The Pharisees also wanted the attention of men. 5 Pharisees do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their click fringes long,6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues7 and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.
By widening their phylacteries, the Pharisees they were asking to be noticed and implying that they were better and their prayers held more weight because of their rank.  Their self-righteousness kept them out of the kingdom of God. The instructions to the disciples concerning titles in vv.8-9 were in light of the pride of the Pharisees “who demand unquestioning submission to themselves and their opinions “ (Carson)
SLIDE 4 This Israeli soldier is praying before a battle. Phylacteries The small leather boxes contain the Hebrew Scriptures, and long straps which wrap around their forehead or arms which spiral down to their hand; it was a very visible thingto look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them.”  It showed those around them that they were in prayer.
Ladies I want us to pause now and pray for Israel.
SLIDE 5 Again Jesus is reminding us to put other first. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant.12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
God has a way of humbling us when we are prideful for our works. You can testify the demons of technology, so any lecture I share has been prayed over and guided by His Holy Spirit. If I try to claim any knowledge or wisdom for myself, I can be sure to be brought low. Our knowledge and good works aren’t enough. There is salvation in no one else but Jesus.
SLIDE 6  Your commentary provided the headings for the SEVEN WOES. If we included verse 13 from the KJV which is noted in Mark and Luke we have eight woes to the religious leaders. These eight woes stand in contrast to the eight beatitudes in  Matthew 5:3-11. 
The days for questioning are over. Jesus shows his disdain by pointing out their false teaching and calls the Pharisees “sons of hell,” “hypocrites,” “blind guides” and “serpents, you brood of vipers.” Not all of the Pharisees were hypocrites; a few were righteous like Nicodemas and Joseph of Arimathea. There were over 6000 Pharisees during this time. Most of the Pharisees were middle-class businessmen, and no doubt they were sincere in their quest for truth and holiness. The name “Pharisees” came from a word that means “to separate.”
SLIDE 7 1) Shutting the Door to the Kingdom-13"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.
It was bad enough that the religious leaders reject the message Jesus taught but even worse the kept others from the kingdom of heaven by teaching man-made traditions instead of God’s truth.  They took “away the key of knowledge” and closed the door to salvation. Their disputes with Jesus and their false accusations were preventing other from hearing the Good News and following Jesus.
SLIDE 8 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows’ houses, taking advantage of their helpless condition and trusting spirits, to obtain money or their property. By their "long prayers" they want people to believe they were righteous and spiritual. But There is salvation in no one but Jesus.
SLIDE 9 2) Proselytizing for Hell-15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
A proselyte is a convert to a cause. Their teaching was a legalistic system and their way could not introduce the proselyte to a loving God. The child of the devil is one who has rejected God plan for salvation. Following the Pharisees in self-righteous behavior they will miss heaven. Their teaching was false and judgmental.
SLIDE 10 3) Swearing Evil Oaths'17 You blind fools!
 For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 22 And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.
Matthew 5:34-35 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
37 Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil.
They were blind to the true values and had their priorities confused.
SLIDE 11 4) Inappropriate Tithing 23"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
If you have these herbs in your garden or spice rack, you know how very small an item cumin and dill are. While outwardly bringing their tithes, they neglected the principles of Christian giving under grace. They were scrupulous about small things like staining their wine to make sure they did not swallow a gnat which could not be considered kosher but lost their sense of priority over spiritual matters.
24 You blind guides, straining out a click gnat and swallowing a camel! The gnat was supposedly the smallest living creature while the camel was the largest animal in the region.
SLIDE 12 5) Clean Outside / Rotten Inside "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26 You blind Pharisee! The Pharisees were careful to paint the outside the things that are seen by men yet harbored greed and self-indulgence in their hearts. 
You can’t purify the water by painting the pump? “Blessed are the pure in heart” was our Lord’s promise. We too must be careful to store in our heart pure thought and kind words. “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Prov. 4: 23 NASB). Will typing and tweaking my lecture a wrong keystroke can delete the whole lesson. The undo button is essential for recovery. Don’t we wish we had an undo button on our mouth?
SLIDE 13 6) Whitewashed Tombs27"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Their hearts were filled with defilement and death.
Numbers 19:16 Gives us the law. Whoever in the open field touches a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. Because of all the foreigners entering Jerusalem for the Passover the tombs were whitewashed with lime so they could be easily seen and prevent any Jew from being ceremoniously unclean by accidently walking near the grave.  Throughout the year, rain and mud would wash the white lime off and would have to be re-applied every year in the month of Adar, the month before Passover.    
SLIDE 14 7) Murdered the Prophets "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
*On you will be the blood of the first martyr Abel, and the last recorded murder in the Hebrew Bible was the prophet Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest. Remember the bible story about 7 year old king of Judah, Joash, 2 Chronicles 24:2 And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.  He worked most of his life restoring the house of the LORD.  Until this lesson that is what I remember about King Joash. Later in the chapter we learn Jehoiada the priest died. His son Zechariah by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD. 22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah's father, had shown him, but killed his son. And when he was dying, he said, "May the LORD see and avenge!"  Romans 12:19 “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
The army of the Syrians with few men, the LORD delivered into their hand a very great army, because Judah had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash.
These are prophetic words of Jesus. Matthew 23:33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? 34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town.
SLIDE 15 It was no accident that I found this blog. Here are five marks of a modern-day Pharisee.
  1. Having a Performance-Based Relationship with God
  2. Looking Down on Others
  3. Loving Outward Signs of Holiness
  4. Loving Honor and Recognition
  5. Always Needing to Justify Yourself
Notice in the review for day 7 in your commentary a challenge to root out seeds of “Pharisaim” that may afflict us. Remember confession is a necessary part of a healthy prayer life. There is salvation in no one else but Jesus.
SLIDE 16 37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! John 1: 11 Jesus died for the sins of the world, including the nation of Israel: But “his own received him not”
SLIDE 17 The image of the mother bird gathering and covering her brood is a familiar one. It is a picture of love, tender care, and a willingness to die to protect our own. Psalm63:7…for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
Jesus came for Israel He wanted to bring her peace and comfort. As Gentiles we reap the benefits of His great and sacrificial love to redeem us from our sins. This Easter Season let’s remember the costly gift we are given freely by Jesus’ death on the cross.
SLIDE 18 Throughout the bible (birds, eagles, sparrows) depict rescue, shelter, and safety in the arms of our LORD. Moses used this imagery in his farewell sermon talking about the LORD’s providence over His People Israel.
Deut. 32:11         Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young,
spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions,

38 See, your house is left to you desolate.39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
SLIDE 20 What a remarkable lesson I learned from one of my Core Leaders last week.
I remarked to Debbie, let’s see how I can work that into our lecture. No surprise that God knew before either of us, your commentary on page 121 brings notice of the rebirth of the nation of Israel in click 1948. Zechariah was given a message 13:89
In the whole land, declares the LORD,
2/3 shall be cut off and perish,
and 1/3 shall be left alive.
And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.   Click melting point of goldclick
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, 'They are my people';
May we never forget…Of the nine million Jews who lived in Europe before the Holocaust, an estimated 2/3 were murdered. The Jews were put through the fire and refined.
 ……… BUT One day they will say 'The LORD is my God.'"

SLIDE 20 Ladies let’s remember there is still injustice and innocent victims here in Gastonia and Charlotte today. Our daughters  A shelter aptly named On Eagles Wings.
Praise God for all He did in 2015!
·         11 teen survivors of sex trafficking, as young as 14 were provided hope, empowerment, and a brighter future at OEW Hope House.
·         19 survivors of sex trafficking were provided paid, educational fellowships and job skills training at Fields of Hope.
Save  the  National  Human Trafficking Hotline in your phone 1 888-373-7888.
SLIDE 21 Will you trust in Jesus alone for your salvation and peace with God? PRAY