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Posts tagged ‘Jewish clergy’

Matthew 23:1-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Prominence and Humility

Matthew 23:1-12 – Prominence and Humility

|| Mark 12:38, 39; Luke 20:45, 46

MT23:1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds as well as his disciples, saying: MT23:2 “The Scribes and Pharisees sat down on the seat of Moses.[1] MT23:3 So, everything they preach to you, do and observe;[2] but do not imitate their actions,[3] for they do not practice what they preach.[4] MT23:4 They tie on heavy burdens[5] and impose these on the shoulders of humankind while they are unwilling to budge [these loads] with a single finger.[6] MT23:5 All their [religious] works they do to be viewed by humans.[7] They broaden their phylacteries[8] and they enlarge the fringes of their garments.[9] MT23:6 They prefer the prominent place at suppers[10] and the front seats in the synagogues.[11] MT23:7 [They enjoy] greetings in the market square[12] and to be called ‘Rabbi’[13] by people. MT23:8 But, you [disciples] should not be addressed as ‘Rabbi’ for only One is your teacher.[14] All of you [disciples] are brothers.[15] MT23:9 Nor should [you disciples permit others] on earth to address you as ‘Father’[16] for One is your Father – the Heavenly One. MT23:10 Nor should you disciples be addressed as ‘Leaders’[17] because your Leader is only the Messiah. MT23:11 But the ‘greatest’ among you will be your servant. MT23:12 For whoever will exalt self will be humiliated;[18] and whoever humbles self will be exalted.

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[1] Sat down on the seat of Moses: Or, KNX: the place from which Moses used to teach; TCNT: now occupy the chair of Moses; PME: speak with the authority of Moses. Compare Exodus 18:13.

[2] Do and observe: Or, RSV: so practice and observe whatever they tell you. Jesus does not undermine their teaching of the Law of Moses.

[3] Do not imitate their actions: Or, BER: do not behave as they do; TCNT: do not follow their example.

[4] They do not practice what they preach: Or, KJV: they say, and do not; RSV: they preach, but do not practice; KNX: for they tell you one thing and do another.

[5] They tie on heavy burdens: Or, KJV: they bind heavy burdens; KNX: they fasten up packs too heavy; PME: they pile up back-breaking burdens.

[6] They are unwilling to budge [these loads] with a single finger: Or, TCNT: they decline themselves to lift a finger to move them.

[7] To be viewed by humans: Or, NEB: whatever they do is done for show.

[8] They broaden their phylacteries: The Greek is PHYLACTERIA. The Jewish Encyclopedia (1976, Vol. X, p. 21) states: “The laws governing the wearing of phylacteries were derived by the Rabbis from four Biblical passages (Deuteronomy 6:8; 11:18; Exodus 13:9). While these passages were interpreted literally by most commentators,… the Rabbis held that the general law only was expressed in the Bible, the application and elaboration of it being entirely matters of tradition and inference.” These were small boxes containing Bible verses strapped around the forehead and wrist. These Jewish clergy made them large for show of their extreme religiosity. Or, KNX: boldly written are the texts they carry; GDSP: they wear wide Scripture texts as charms; TAY: they act holy by wearing on their arms large prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside.

[9] They enlarge the fringes of their garments: See Numbers 15:38; Deuteronomy 22:12. Or, KNX: deep is the hem of their garments; GDSP: they wear large tassels; TAY: by lengthening the memorial fringes of their robes.

[10] They prefer the prominent place at suppers: Or, KJV: they love the uppermost rooms at feasts; RHM: the first couch in the chief meals; RSV: place of honor; RIEU: the best places at banquets; PME: seats of honor at dinner parties. Compare the counsel of the Nazarene at Luke 14:7, 10.

[11] The front seats in the synagogues: Note this was still a problem among Christians (James 2:2-4).

[12] [They enjoy] greetings in the market square: Or, NASB: respectful greetings; WMS: to be greeting with honor in public places. We can see these self-righteous, condescending clergy bestowing their weak smiles and blessings upon those who raise their voices in praise.

[13] Rabbi: The term occurs 18 times in three Gospels and is absent from the Gospel of Luke. The title is a surrogate for “teacher.” (John 1:38) In time the title was elevated to “my great one; my excellent one.” Research the word Rabbi.

[14] Only One is your teacher: While all Christians should be teachers (Hebrews 5:12; Titus 2:3), and while there are among them those recognized as “teachers” (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11; James 3:1-3) the entire Body of Christ understands who the real Teacher is: Jesus of Nazareth.

[15] Brothers: Jesus speaks to his male disciples. See notes on Matthew 12:50. Despite gifts and offices the general atmosphere in the church must be a brotherhood.

[16] Address you as ‘Father’: Unfortunately later in the history of the Church clergy accepted the title “Father” despite the command of their Lord. They will have to bear this responsibility. Often it is a matter of a teacher or leader refusing certain titles. Job 32:21 declares, “And on an earthling man I shall not bestow a title.” (NWT)

[17] Leaders: Or, KJV: neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master. In Spanish such a man is called Maestro and this is not fitting for a shepherd of the flock. There is a different between a “Leader” and one who takes the lead. Compare Hebrews 13:7, 17.

[18] Whoever will exalt self will be humiliated: Or, KJV: whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased.

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Preceding

Matthew 22:41-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Asks a Trump Question

Matthew 23 – A Jeremiad against the religious hypocrites

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Related articles

  1. Matthew Chapter A Day – 23
  2. Read Matt 23 before saying anything
  3. Hypocrisy & Judgmentalism – Two Unmistakable Marks Of Narcissism – Part 1
  4. “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant.” ~Jesus
  5. Who were the pharisees?
  6. The Good & Bad of the Pharisees
  7. Pharisees and Scribes
  8. “Stay Humble – God Will Expose”

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

CHAPTER TWELVE:
PROBLEMS IN THE MINISTRY:
OPPONENTS, SIGNS, FAMILY

[“Opposition Inside and Out”]

Matthew 12:1-8 – Something Greater than the Temple

|| Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5

MT12:1 During that period Jesus was moving through the grain fields on the Sabbath.[1] Now his disciples were hungry[2] and began to pluck heads of grain and eat them. MT12:2 But, the Pharisees observed this and said to Jesus, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is not permitted during the Sabbath!”[3] MT12:3 Then Jesus said to them, “Did you not read[4] what David, and those with him, did when he got hungry? MT12:4 How he entered into the House of the God[5] and they ate the loaves of presentation[6] – which he was not authorized to eat, nor those with him, but only the priests? MT12:5 Or, did you not read in the Law regarding Sabbaths that the temple priests profane the Sabbath[7] and remain innocent?[8] MT12:6 But, I tell you: you have something greater than the temple here.[9] MT12:7 You would not have condemned the innocent[10] if you had known what this means,[11] ‘I desire mercy[12] and not sacrifice.’ [Hosea 6:6, 7] MT12:8 For the Son of Humankind is Master of the Sabbath.”[13]

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[1] Sabbath: Literally “sabbaths.” The subject of the Sabbath was a serious conflict with the Jewish clergy. The word occurs 46 times in the Gospels (Matthew, 11; Mark, 11; Luke, 13; John, 11). Two thousand years later it is still an issue even among Christians.

[2] Hungry: Imagine hunger only satisfied by hard grains of wheat or kernels of corn?

[3] Not permitted during the Sabbath: The Law permitted plucking grain (Deuteronomy 23:25). The Jewish version of Sabbath law during the Nazarene’s life was very detailed. There were 39 rules which identified work on the Sabbath, including “reaping.” Later, Maimonides ruled: “To pluck ears is a kind of reaping.”

[4] Did you not read: Compare 1 Samuel 21:1-6.

[5] The House of the God: There are several terms for the Tabernacle of Moses: House, Sanctuary, and Temple. On the later there are two Greek words used: HIERON which generally means the Temple complex; and, NAOS which refers to the shrine or tabernacle proper with its two sacred rooms, the Holy and the Most Holy.

[6] They ate the loaves of presentation: No normal bread was available and the high priest offered the twelve ringed loaves on the table of showbread in the Tabernacle. His only requirement is that only those men who had “kept themselves from women.” David assured the priest they “certainly clean today.” (1 Samuel 21:1-6 NJB) For this kindness 85 priests were slaughtered.

[7] Temple priests profane the Sabbath: That is, the priests perform working functions involved in worship forbidden regular Israelites. The word “profane” is also rendered: KNX: violate; MOF: desecrate; PME: break.

[8] Innocent: Or, KJV: blameless; MOF: not guilty.

[9] Something greater than the temple here: Jesus alludes to himself as the future High Priest as well as his disciples as ‘temple foundation stones.’ (John 2:19; Hebrews 8:1; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:5) Compare Luke 11:31, 32 for similar language.

[10] The innocent: Surely he means himself and perhaps – like David’s “mighty men” – his own disciples.

[11] This means: The Nazarene quotes Hosea 6:7 from the LXX (where it is 6:6).

[12] Mercy: The Greek is ELEOS and is usually translated mercy, compassion, pity. The problem with the English “mercy” is that it has under gone an evolution so that today it carries the idea of justice: condemnation or judgment withheld. The root of “mercy” is a word from the marketplace (mercado) and is related to that payment to mercenaries. Merci means “thanks.” Kind charity is closer to the idea. So, the verse intends to mean: “I wish charity over (religious) sacrifices.” The quote of Hosea 6:7 is from the Jewish Greek Septuagint (LXX). The Hebrew text reads checed and is rooted in kindness. If one made all the religious sacrifices his worship demanded and failed to be kind or charitable, God’s will is missed.

[13] Master of the Sabbath: There are various opinions. One meaning may be: as Master of the sabbath day, Jesus as Son of Man will determine what is good or bad on the sabbath; or, he will use the sabbath as he determines. Some read the phrase “son of man” to mean “human” so that human needs will determine what is good or bad on the sabbath. Some hold a futurist view: the Messiah is King of that future great Sabbath under his rule – the Thousand Years.

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Preceding

Matthew 11:25-30 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 6 Taking Jesus’ Yoke and Becoming Disciples

Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus

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Additional reading

  1. Was Jesus Religious
  2. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  3. Do we need to keep the Sabbath
  4. Were allowed to willfully break the Law of Moses
  5. Holy Sabbath
  6. Communion and day of worship
  7. Yom Hey, Eve of Passover and liberation of many people
  8. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  9. Lord and owner
  10. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #1 Before rain of food from heaven
  11. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #2 Testimony
  12. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #3 Days to be kept holy or set apart
  13. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #4 Jesus and the Sabbath day
  14. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #5 Not law binding
  15. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #6 Sunday or the Lord’s day
  16. Why we do not have our worship-services in a church building
  17. Self inflicted misery #5 A prophet without a hedge around him

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Related

  1. Shabbat Emor: Against the Cruelty
  2. Confronting Systemic Problems – Parshat Va’era 2018
  3. Efficient Rest – Deuteronomy 5:12-14
  4. The Sabbath
  5. Sabbath
  6. Sabbath-Rest
  7. The Sabbath & Sundays?
  8. Read Through the Bible – Day #58 – Luke Chapter 14
  9. Inconsistencies With Lawlessness
  10. Day 95 – The Sabbath is for us
  11. Sacking off the commands of God for what?
  12. Read Through the Bible – Day #50 – Luke Chapter 6

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