Matthew 23 : 13 – 39
A short history of the pharisees and sadducee’s will help.
The Sadducees and Pharisees comprised the ruling class of Israel.The saducees worked hard to keep the peace by agreeing with the decisions of Rome (Israel at this time was under Roman control), and they seemed to be more concerned with politics than religion.Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees earned numerous rebukes from Jesus. Perhaps the best lesson we can learn from the Pharisees and Sadducees is to not be like them, namely:
v14 : Making long prayers but not attending to the cries of widows gives you a clean chit to eternal damnation. Basically , displaying holiness but lacking charity and compassion at heart at heart is very dangerous for a christian.
v15 : Going to all means to get a new convert but then making him follow all the man made traditions, in a way that he forgets the word of God is very wrong.
v23 : Paying tithes is something that Jesus wants us to do . But only paying tithes does not make a man righteous. The other core qualities /issues of the christian faith should not be forsaken. A hypocrite is ready to do the easy things for christ but the weightier matters , he is not not willing to do.
v24 : to criticize other people for minor offenses while ignoring major offenses. In other words, they make a big to-do out of the little things and let the big things escape.
v25-26 : Making your outward appearance as pure and holy but within, having the things of uncleanliness and filthiness does not guarantee a place in the heavens. We end up to be men pleasers and followers of man made traditions.
In the end Jesus promises blessings even for the hypocrites. This shows how much Jesus loves every man. He says that they will be blessed if they come in the name of God and not take credit for themselves.
Author – Hepsibah Rachel (NLFA Baroda)