In time of our Lord Jesus Christ he called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites. Why is that? Is in it they are the leaders of the Jewish Church? The first group of people who had the promise?
Let us learn who are the most powerful Jewish people in the time of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Scribes – an ancient Jewish record-keeper.
Pharisee – In contrast to the Sadducees, the Pharisees were mostly middle-class businessmen, and therefore were in contact with the common man. The Pharisees were held in much higher esteem by the common man than the Sadducees. Though they were a minority in the Sanhedrin and held a minority number of positions as priests, they seemed to control the decision making of the Sanhedrin far more than the Sadducees did, again because they had the support of the people.
Sadducee – Sadducees were aristocrats. They tended to be wealthy and held powerful positions, including that of chief priests and high priest, and they held the majority of the 70 seats of the ruling council called the Sanhedrin.
The Jews, in all their heart, in all their minds and deeds they lived as the children of God. They (think they) follow the laws of the Old Testament, their practice of religion is inline with God’s teachings. They did not know their actions are not pleasing to God, Christ condemn and called them hypocrites.
Matthew 23:14(NKJV) – 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
They pray long prayers, they devour the widows. Jesus told them they will received greater condemnation. Can you relate this to what is happening in the Church of Christ today?
What is wrong with the Jews?
They used the temple as a place for collecting monies that is why Christ told them ‘den of thieves‘. The Jews are required to offer lamb, they travel from a far place with their lamb. Some of them by the time they get to the temple, the lamb lost a lot of weight already. The scribes and Pharisees rejects these lambs so what they did is they sell lamb in the temple instead of people bringing their own. When Jesus Christ and his disciples journeyed to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Passover. They found the sacred city of God overflowing with thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the world. Entering the Temple, Jesus saw the money changers, along with merchants who were selling animals for sacrifice. Jesus became angry and drove the money changers away.
Mark 11:17(NKJV) – 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
Matthew 21:13 (NKJV) -13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’but you have made it a ‘den of thieves’.
How do the Jewish church leaders lure the members in their time?
Micah 3:11N (NKJV) –
11 Her heads judge for a bribe,
Her priests teach for pay,
And her prophets divine for money.
Yet they lean on the Lord, and say,
“Is not the Lord among us?
No harm can come upon us.”
Amos 8:4-5 (NKJV)
4 Hear this, you who swallow up the needy,
And make the poor of the land fail,
“When will the New Moon be past,
That we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
That we may trade wheat?
Making the ephah small and the shekel large,
Falsifying the scales by deceit,
It is all about the money. Relating this to the Church today, they do not spare the poor. Everyone is asked give your offerings, the more you give the more you receive from God. This is what I call destructive teaching.
Read what Apostle Paul to the Jews who believe are people of God.
Romans 2:23 (NKJV) – 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?
Paul said “boast in the law”. What does it mean? They are boasting about their elections. Allow me to explain this in Filipino language: “nagyayabang dahil sa kanilang kahalalan pero hindi naman sinusunod ang mga salita ng Diyos”.
I found hatred is rampant these days specially on the internet. It sad that hatred is on both sides but sometimes they even claim to be Ministers of the Church. Ministers even promote hatred in prayers and the most sad of all, command God to fail the enemies (of the Church) as if it is a war between the two. So sad because these are what the bible call hypocrites. What do Christ teach us?
Matthew 5:43-48 (NKJV) – 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Why did Christ say “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemies’“? Because the Pharisees and Sadducees are teaching to hate those who are not Jews, not to socialize with them. They are prohibited to talk with Gentiles all the more enter the house of the Gentiles. Am i just making a story here? Read the story of Samaritan woman
John 4:9 (NKJV) – 9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
The Jews are thought to love their Jewish brothers (church brotherhood) but hate the neighbors, like the Samaritans (for they are Jewish neighbors). Jesus was a Jew, why did He violates this teaching? Because it was not a biblical teaching, the bible teach the opposite.
Leviticus 19:18 (NKJV) – 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
This is exactly the same what is happening today in the Church. Hate those who are expelled in the Church, do not even talk to them, do not even get close to them. Totally against the teachings of God.
1 John 4:8 (NKJV) – 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Now think, think, think! Who does not love?
I came back to add this paragraph. I cannot avoid remembering the life of Stephen even in his last breath, he prayed for his enemies, the Jews who sentenced him to death by stoning.
Acts 7:59-60 (NKJV) – 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
How amazing to be a true faithful believer of Christ? I hope this topics is profitable to your personal life.