Reloaded -> Matthew 23:15-27 – The Handshake

30 04 2008

Matthew 23:15-27

Jesus To The Pharisees:

15“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You go halfway around the world to make a convert, but once you get him you make him into a replica of yourselves, double-damned.

16-22“You’re hopeless! What arrogant stupidity! You say, ‘If someone makes a promise with his fingers crossed, that’s nothing; but if he swears with his hand on the Bible, that’s serious.’ What ignorance! Does the leather on the Bible carry more weight than the skin on your hands? And what about this piece of trivia: ‘If you shake hands on a promise, that’s nothing; but if you raise your hand that God is your witness, that’s serious’? What ridiculous hairsplitting! What difference does it make whether you shake hands or raise hands? A promise is a promise. What difference does it make if you make your promise inside or outside a house of worship? A promise is a promise. God is present, watching and holding you to account regardless.

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 burnish 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“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.

The Pharisees’ converts were attracted to religion not to God. By getting caught up in the details of their additional laws and regulations, they completely missed God, to whom the laws pointed.

Its possible to obey the details of the laws but still be disobedient in our general behavior.

Jesus condemned the Pharisees and religious leaders for outwardly appearing upright and holy but inwardly remaining full of corruption and greed.

Living our Christianity merely as a show for others is like washing only the outside of a cup. When we are clean on the inside our cleanliness on the outside won’t be a sham.

What Is Your Handshake Worth?

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Isaiah 53:5

29 04 2008

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

1 Corinthians 1:18

28 04 2008

Message Of The Cross

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who
are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the
power of God.

John 5:24

25 04 2008

Cross Over

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him
who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned;
he has crossed over from death to life.

Proverbs 28:27

24 04 2008

Gives To The Poor

He who gives to the poor will lack nothing,
but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.

John 4 — The Woman At The Well —- ( A Student Life Video)

23 04 2008

Have You Tasted The Living Water?

Click on the following link for today’s Bible study verses:
John 4:1-42

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Mark 9:40-41

22 04 2008

Cup Of Water

for whoever is not against us is for us.

I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my
name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.