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Matthew 23:15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 2: Evangelists of Gehenna

Matthew 23:15 – Woe 2: Evangelists of Gehenna

MT23:15 “WOE to you hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees, because you travel over land and sea[1] to make a single proselyte;[2] and, when he becomes such [a convert to Judaism] you make him a son of Gehenna[3] twice as much as you.

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Woe

[1] Travel over land and sea: The Jews were great missionary evangelists and their religion had traveled to most corners of the world.

[2] Proselyte: The Greek is PROSELYTON. Or, RHM: to make one convert.

[3] A son of Gehenna: See the notes on Matthew 12:27 (= sons). The convert is a “son” and his teacher his “father.” Or, KNX: twice as worthy of damnation as yourselves; NEB: twice as fit for hell as you are yourselves; PME: twice as ripe for destruction. Research the word Gehenna for information.

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Preceding

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

Matthew 23:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Shutting Up the Kingdom

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Related

  1. Leadership and Titles– Part I
  2. “But woe unto you, religious elites (scribes and Pharisees), hypocrites! You shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in.” ~Jesus
  3. Woe unto you…..
  4. Matthew 23:16-26 – “Woe to You, Scribes and Pharisees

Matthew 23:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 1: Shutting Up the Kingdom

Matthew 23:13-14 – Woe 1: Shutting Up the Kingdom

|| Luke 11:52

MT23:13 “WOE to you hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees, because right in front of people[1] you are closing the door to the Realm of Heaven.[2] You do not enter and you prevent those who might from entering.[3] MT23:14 [[Woe to you hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees, for you devour the houses of widows and for a pretence you make long prayers. This is why you will receive a heavier judgment.]][4]

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Woe

[1] Right in front of people: [Or, you slam the door in men’s faces] Or, GDSP: you lock the doors of the Kingdom of Heaven in men’s faces.

[2] Closing the door to the Realm of Heaven: We have seen elsewhere in Matthew that the Realm of Heaven is the domain over which Christ rules; that is, Christendom – the Church. The Jewish religious hierarchy opposed the Jesus movement and acted as a restraint in preventing many persons from gaining membership in the congregation Jesus was building. There are modern movements who teach that lesser persons do not attain heaven, but live on earth forever**. These actually teach that opportunity to enter heaven closed.

[3] You do not enter and you prevent those who might from entering: Or, BECK: you won’t come into it yourself, and when others try to come in, you won’t let them. They do not follow the Nazarene and any who try they threaten with excommunication (See John 9:22; 16:2).

[4] [[…]]: Most recognize this verse does not have ancient support and is not supported by the older manuscripts.

**

Many philosophers and preachers talk about some sort of incarnation, where the person keeps returning on earth, each time in another form. Though all should know there is no such incarnation and not every body is going to go to heaven after death. God’s Kingdom shall be on earth as it is in heaven.

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Preceding

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

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Related literature

  1. The Good & Bad of the Pharisees
  2. Hypocrisy & Judgmentalism – Two Unmistakable Marks Of Narcissism – Part 1
  3. Strength and Authority
  4. Leadership and Titles– Part I
  5. Woe unto you…..
  6. “But woe unto you, religious elites (scribes and Pharisees), hypocrites! You shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in.” ~Jesus
  7. Judgement

Matthew 23 – A Jeremiad against the religious hypocrites

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE:
A JEREMIAD AGAINST THE RELIGIOUS HYPOCRITES

[“Woe to a Generation of Vipers”]
(Key word: Woe!)

Already in chapter 16 of Matthews’s account of Jesus his life the apostle wrote about Jesus warning them to be careful and to pay attention regarding the leaven (Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians (Matthew 16:6, 11, 12; Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1) or particular people who claim to be speaking in the name of God.

Today we start looking at chapter 23 of Matthew’s gospel where Jesus speaks directly to those who claim they are the only ones who have the right to speak about God and His commandments and demanded followship.

This chapter clearly shows the extent to which the disciples are viewed as Jews in relation to the nation, even though their master condemned the leaders who misguided the people and dishonoured Jehovah God by their hypocrisy.

To speak to the crowd and to His disciples, Jesus says:

“The scribes and the Pharisees have sat down in Moses’ chair”;

and though their behaviour was only hypocrisy, they had to follow them, as the interpreters of the law, yet in all that they spoke in accordance with it.

We find Jesus speaking to the multitudes and to his disciple in the most public manner.

First of all, Jesus acknowledges the official position and the orthodoxy of the leaders of the people, and therefore encourages his disciples to bear the fetters of the stricter statue even longer than by premature dropping the semblance of indiscipline (the temple falls soon enough) V. 36).

On the other hand, he recommends to the disciples the harmony of change with doctrine, fraternal equality and humble service (his, the Messiah’s, as the sole leader V. 10); that was the basis of all greatness in his kingdom.

In this chapter we shall come to see how certain people shall try to convince people how they can not come in the Kingdom of God in case they do not follow their teachings. Also in our present day we do find such teachers of religion, Pharisees and hypocrites who love to prevent ordinary people from entering the kingdom of God (v 14) or who set up a show, putting themselves in the spotlights, doing as if they are very devout people and saying ‘great prayers’.

Today we still find people who are more attracted to the writings and sayings of so called theologians instead of concentrating on the words of the Holy Scriptures. They let themselves being carried away by the many theological theories even when those would be not according the Bible texts. Often those church leaders want to have full control over their congregation and therefore make them afraid with all sorts of stories which are not in accordance with the Bible, or of taking certain texts to literally instead of reading in between the lines and seeing the essence of the text.

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Preceding

Matthew 13:33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Fermented Whole

Matthew 16:5-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

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

Additional readings to Matthew 22:41-46

Next

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

Matthew 21:33-41 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Vineyard

Matthew 21:33-41 – Parable of the Vineyard

|| Mark 12:1-9; Luke 20:9-16

MT21:33 “Listen to another parable:[1] A person was a landlord. Before traveling away, he planted a vineyard, fenced it around, dug a winepress, erected a tower and then he leased it out to cultivators. MT21:34 Now when the fruit came into season the landlord sent his slaves to the cultivators to gather in his crop. MT21:35 Having received his slaves the cultivators beat them, and one they killed and another they stoned. MT21:36 Then the landlord sent more slaves and they did the same to them. MT21:37 Finally, he sent off his own son, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ MT21:38 However, when the [cultivators] saw the son they told one another, ‘This is the heir. Come and let us kill him and then we will have his inheritance.’ MT21:39 Taking the son they threw him outside the vineyard and killed him. MT21:40 Now, when the lord of the vineyard arrived, what will he do to those cultivators?” MT21:41 The priests and Scribes answered, “Because they were bad people he will bring a bad destruction on them. Then he will lease the vineyard out to other cultivators who will produce the fruitage in the season.”

wine making

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[1] Listen to another parable: Jesus is about to do something similar to the prophet Nathan: tell a story about these men and get them to condemn themselves. The landlord is Yehowah, God of the Jews. The cultivators are those Jewish men who were responsible: the priests, scribes, and elders. The “slaves” likely included John the Baptist and his disciples as well as Jesus’ own apostles. The “son” is Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus predicts an evil destruction upon those men. Jesus indicates his death will occur outside of Jerusalem.

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Preceding

Matthew 21:1-3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Ahead for a Donkey

Matthew 21:4-5 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Your King Is Coming upon a Donkey

Matthew 21:6-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blessed the One Coming in God’s Name!

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Matthew 21:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Temple Cleansed

Matthew 21:12-14 – From a den of thieves to a house of prayer

Matthew 21:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Out of the Mouth of Babes

Matthew 21:18-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Cursed Fig Tree a Lesson in Faith

Matthew 21:23-27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Question of Authority

Matthew 21:28-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of Two Children

 

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Further related

  1. “at evensong, one hour before the sun go down”: a Sermon on the Parable of the Vineyard
  2. The Parable of the Vineyard
  3. March 15
  4. How to Subvert Divine Justice and Turn Everybody’s Lives Upside Down

Matthew 17:10-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Elijah Has Already Come

Matthew 17:10-13 – Elijah Has Already Come

|| Mark 9:9-13

MT17:10 Now the disciples inquired of Jesus, asking, “Why do the Scribes[1] say it is necessary for Elijah[2] to come first?” [Malachi 4:5] MT17:11 Jesus answered them, saying: “Indeed, Elijah is coming[3] and will restore everything.[4] MT17:12 But, I tell you: Elijah has already arrived[5] and they did not acknowledge him;[6] rather, they treated him as they wished.[7] And just so the Son of Humankind is about to suffer because of them.”[8] MT17:13 Finally the disciples understood that Jesus spoke to them about John the Baptist.

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[1] Scribes: Search the word scribe for notes elsewhere. Or, NEB: teachers.

[2] Elijah: Likely this prophet is raised as a result of the vision. We may suppose only the three disciples were asking the question. On Elijah research the name for other notes.

[3] Elijah is coming: Judging from Jesus’ words may we suppose there are two “Elijahs”? One to appear before the desolation of Jerusalem (Malachi 4:5). And, still another before the Parousia of Christ (Revelation 11:4, 5). The Nazarene does not mean the literal prophet but something like him.

[4] Restore everything: Or, NEB: set everything right; GDSP: reform everything; RIEU: reestablish everything. Compare Acts 3:21. Malachi 4:6 foretold the result of Elijah’s coming:

“He must turn the heart of fathers back toward sons, and the heart of sons back toward fathers.”

If this be the ‘restoration’ it deals strongly with family relationships and involves love. If we were to also apply Isaiah 40:5 to the coming of Elijah then this also would be involved: “The glory of Jehovah will certainly be revealed, and all flesh must see it together.” Additionally, consider Malachi 3:1-4: “And suddenly there will come to His temple the [true] Lord, whom you people are seeking, and the messenger of the covenant in whom you are delighting. Look! He will certainly come,” Jehovah of armies has said. “But who will be putting up with the day of his coming, and who will be the one standing when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye of laundrymen. And he must sit as a refiner and cleanser of silver and must cleanse the sons of Le’vi; and he must clarify them like gold and like silver, and they will certainly become to Jehovah people presenting a gift offering in righteousness. And the gift offering of Judah and of Jerusalem will actually be gratifying to Jehovah, as in the days of long ago and as in the years of antiquity.” (NWT) The ‘restoration’ not only involves family relationships but also the true Temple and the cleansing of the People of God. Compare Revelation 11:1-12; 11:19.

[5] Elijah has already arrived: See notes on Matthew 11:14 and Matthew 16:14 and the name Elijah elsewhere.

[6] They did not acknowledge him: “They” includes the Scribes. Or, KJV: knew him not; RHM: they recognized him not.

[7] They treated him as they wished: Or, KJV: have done unto him whatsoever they listed; RHM: did with him whatsoever they pleased; MOF: they have worked their will on him; KNX: misused him at their pleasure. “They” imprisoned and then beheaded John the Baptist.

[8] Suffer because of them: This is the second of two times Jesus mentions his foretold ‘suffering.’ (see notes at Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke 17:25) That the Messiah would “suffer” is foretold by Psalm 22:1+ and Isaiah 53:1+. Compare also Isaiah 50:6 and Daniel 9:26.

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Preceding

Matthew 17:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Transfiguration Vision

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Related

  1. Will Elijah Come Again? No, Elijah has already come.

Matthew 15:1-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Tradition and the Heart

CHAPTER FIFTEEN:
TRADITION AND THE HEART, GIVING CRUMBS TO PUPPIES,
FEEDING 4000

[“The Mouth and the Heart”]
(Key Word: Traditions)

Matthew 15:1-20 – Tradition and the Heart

|| Mark 7:1-23

MT15:1 Now scribes[1] and Pharisees from Jerusalem[2] approached Jesus, saying, “Why do your disciples[3] transgress the traditions of the Ancients?[4] MT15:2 For they do not wash their hands[5] when eating bread.” MT15:3 Jesus responded to them, asking, MT15:4 “For The God said, ‘Honor your father and mother.’[6] [Exodus 20:12] And also, ‘Let the person who says a bad word against[7] father or mother be put to death.’ [Leviticus 20:9] MT15:5 But you teach, ‘Whatever I have to help[8] my father or mother is a Temple-offering consecrated to God’[9] – MT15:6 such a person does not honor[10] father at all. You have invalidated the Word[11] of The God by your own tradition. MT15:7 Hypocrites, Isaiah gave a good prophecy[12] about you when he said, MT15:8 ‘This people honors Me with their lips but their heart is distant. MT15:9 Their worship is worthless[13] because they teach human commandments as doctrine.’” [Isaiah 29:13] MT15:10 Now Jesus called the crowd to gather close, telling them, “Listen carefully and understand:[14] MT15:11 Not what enters the mouth defiles a person,[15] but what pours out of the mouth defiles a person.” MT15:12 Now the disciples approached Jesus, telling him, “Do you know you offended the Pharisees[16] by what they heard you say?” MT15:13 Jesus answered them, “Every plant[17] not planted by my Father will be pulled out by the roots. MT15:14 Leave them alone.[18] They are blind guides.[19] So, if someone blind guides another blind person, they will both fall into a pit.” MT15:15 Peter responded to Jesus, “Make the parable clear to us.” MT15:16 Jesus told them, “Are you still without understanding?[20] MT15:17 Are you unaware that everything entering the mouth passes through the belly[21] and is expelled into a sewer?[22] MT15:18 But the words pouring out of the mouth originate from the heart.[23] Those are the things which defile a person. MT15:19 For it is from the heart these originate:[24] evil dialogue,[25] murders, adulteries,[26] fornications,[27] thieveries,[28] perjuries and slander,[29] abusive speech.[30] MT15:20 These are the things defiling a person. Eating with unwashed hands does not defile a person.”

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[1] Scribes: BECK: Bible scholars.

[2] From Jerusalem: Over 100 miles.

[3] Your disciples: They do not accuse Jesus. Had these Jews witnessed some habit of the disciples not to ceremonial wash their hands before eating? Or, is this a rumor?

[4] Transgress the traditions of the Ancients: Or, GDSP: break the rules handed down by our ancestors; KJV: elders.

[5] Wash their hands: Or, AMP: for they do not practice [ceremonially] washing. Compare 2 Kings 3:11. “The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands up to the elbow.” (Mark 7:2-5) The Babylonian Talmud (Sotah 4b) places eating with unwashed hands equal to intercourse with a prostitute.

[6] Honor your father and mother: From the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12; 21:17). Paul also quotes the “first commandment with a promise.” (Ephesians 6:2) The English word “honor” is from the Greek TIMA from which the name Timothy comes.

[7] Says a bad word against: Or, KJV: curseth; ASV: speaketh evil of; NWT: reviles. Jesus quotes Leviticus 20:9. Compare Leviticus 20:9; Deuteronomy 27:16.

[8] Whatever I have to help: ASV: that wherewith thou mightest have been profited by me; RIEU: all the support you might have; RSV: what you would have gained from me; GDSP: anything of mine that might have been of use to you.

[9] Is a Temple-offering consecrated to God: ASV: is given to God; RIEU: temple-offering. The New Jerusalem Bible footnote explains: “Property thus made over by vow assumes a sacred character.… Such a vow in fact was only a legal fiction.… Though the rabbis acknowledged its impiety they sustained its validity.”

[10] Does not honor: Jesus infers this “honor” is of a material kind not a mere matter of respect. The children who do not care for elderly parents dishonor them and violate the commandment. Compare 1 Timothy 5:4, 8. The Greek word TIME means honor, esteem, value, or preciousness. The verb TIMAO also means “set a price on” (Matthew 27:9); the noun TIME caries the sense of price or value (Matthew 27:6; Acts 4:34); and the adjective TIMIOS means esteemed, dear, or valuable (Acts 5:34; 20:24; 1 Corinthians 3:12).

[11] You have invalidated the Word: Or, MOF: you have repealed the law of God; GDSP: you have nullified what God has said; PME: empties the commandment.

[12] Isaiah gave a good prophecy: The quote is of Isaiah 29:13. The context in Isaiah is also referenced by Romans 11:9; Colossians 2:22; 1 Corinthians 1:19. Or, KJV: well did Esaias prophesy; MOF: it was indeed of you that Isaiah prophesied; PME: Isaiah described you beautifully; RIEU: how right Isaiah was.

[13] Their worship is worthless: Or, WMS: their worship of me is an empty show.

[14] Listen carefully and understand: Or, KNX: listen to this, and grasp what it means.

[15] Defiles a person: Or, PME: makes him common or unclean.

[16] You offended the Pharisees: Or, ME: are deeply offended; GDSP: were shocked to hear you. The disciples seem concerned by Jesus did not come to please everyone. The Greek word here is ESCANDALISTHESAN: they thought what he said scandalous.

[17] Every plant: He infers the scribes and Pharisees.

[18] Leave them alone: Or, KNX: let them say what they will.

[19] Blind guides: Or, KJV: blind leaders. Knowing what he has already said was offensive, the Nazarene comes back with an even more direct inference.

[20] Are you still without understanding: Or, RHM: without discernment; GDSP: have even you no understanding; BAS: are you, like them, still without wisdom; RIEU: You too? Still so dull? Jesus is not caring one twit whose toes he steps on: either the clergy or his own disciples. Raised to respect the clergy, it is possible the disciples do not yet discern the gulf which exists between Jesus and the religious hierarchy.

[21] Passes through the belly: Or, WEY: stomach; NWT: intestines.

[22] Expelled into a sewer: WEY: afterwards ejected from the body; NWT: discharged into the sewer.

[23] Originate from the heart: NEB: has its origins in the heart; PME: comes from his heart and mind. Compare James 1:14, 15.

[24] These originate: Mark 7:20, 21 adds several characteristics: “injurious reasonings issue forth: fornications, thieveries, murders, adulteries, covetings, acts of wickedness, deceit, loose conduct, an envious eye, blasphemy, haughtiness, unreasonableness.” (NWT)

[25] Evil dialogue: The Greek is DIALOGISMOI PONEROI. Or, KJV: evil thoughts; KNX: wicked designs.

[26] Adulteries: Or, BAS: broken faith between the married.

[27] Fornications: The Greek is PORNEIAI and is drawn from “prostitution.” Or, MOF: sexual vice; GDSP: immorality; BAS: unclean desires of the flesh.

[28] Thieveries: MOF: stealing.

[29] Perjuries and slander: Or, KJV: false witness; NWT: false testimonies.

[30] Abusive speech: The Greek is BLASPHEMIAI. Or, KJV: blasphemies; ASV: railings; RHM: profane speaking; WEY: slander.

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Preceding

Matthew 14:35-36 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: If They Might Just Touch Him

Matthew 15 An argument with the Scribes – Teachers and traditions

Matthew 15 Calvin’s view

Matthew 15 Spurgeon’s view

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Related

  1. Matthew 15, defilement from within, the faith of the Caananite woman, Jesus feeds the four thousand.
  2. When What to Eat is More Important Than What to Say
  3. Matthew 15丨C. H. Spurgeon
  4. “Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?” ~Religious scholars to Jesus
  5. unclean
  6. Out of The Mouth
  7. “Frauds!” ~Jesus
  8. Doctrine vs. Tradition
  9. Hypocrisy — Its Expression through Insincere Motives
  10. Hypocrisy — What happens when my deeds do not match my words?
  11. False Doctrine — Is it of human origin and not from Jesus the Messiah?

Matthew 15 Spurgeon’s view

Our King combatting formalists

1. THEN came to, Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hand, when they eat bread.

When our Lord was busiest his enemies assailed him. These ecclesiastics “of Jerusalem” were probably the cream of the set, and from their great reputation they reckoned upon an easy victory over the rustic preacher.

Perhaps they were a deputation from headquarters, sent to confound the new Teacher. They had a question to raise, which to them may have seemed important, or possibly they pretended to think it so to answer their own purposes. Traditions of the elders were great things with them: to transgress these must be a crime indeed. Washing of the hands is a thing proper enough, one could wish it were oftener practiced, but to exalt it into a religious rite is a folly and a sin.

These “scribes and Pharisee” washed their hands, whether they needed washing or not, out of a supposed zeal to be rid of any particle that might render them ceremonially unclean. Our Lord’s disciples had so far entered into Christian liberty that they did not observe the rabbinical tradition: “they wash not their hands when they eat bread.” Why should they wash if their hands were clean? Tradition had no power over their consciences. No man has any more right to institute a new duty than to neglect an old one.

The issuing of commands is for the King alone. Yet these religionists enquire why the Lord’s disciples break a law which was no law. It will be well if our opponents are unable to bring against us any worse charge than this.

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Preceding

Matthew 15 Calvin’s view

Matthew 15 An argument with the Scribes – Teachers and traditions

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Related

  1. Think About It…
  2. The Dance of Isaiah!

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