When the ExaminEE becomes the ExaminERJune 17, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Matthew | 2 Comments
Tags: commentary on Matthew, hypocrisy, Matthew 21, Matthew 22, Matthew 23, Pharisees, preschoolers, Psalm 110, Sunday School lessons on Matthew
Even though He was truly a King, there were times in His earthly ministry when Jesus submitted Himself to examination by inferior and unsuitable examiners. They questioned Him about taxes:
Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
They questioned Him about relationships:
The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
This is similar to today. People have access to the revealed will of God, and access to the friendship of His Son, but they would rather know about health, wealth, and relationships. People cultivate relationships with people that they can use – use to get things – because things are what they really love. God made things for using and people for loving, and when we get those reversed we are guilty of idolatry.
Now the King had a question for them:
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
Psalm 110:1 would have answered this question for them about how Jesus could be the Son of David and the Lord of David:
The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
In Matthew 23 we see the King’s last public proclamation before the Cross. It is considered unloving these days to criticize unbiblical ministries, but Jesus was not hesitant about exposing false teachers, nor about denouncing them.
Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
The Pharisees based their their religion on self-righteousness, but they were not righteous themselves.
For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
They had a strange idea of “ministry:” adding burdens instead of helping bear burdens.
But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
The Pharisees thought that they were “great men of God,” but they did not want to serve.
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
They kept others who were trying to “press in” from entering the Kingdom.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
They had a deceitful and dangerous idea of “religion.” They had just enough religion to be dangerous – to use the right words and look the right way without any real conversion. They were like a preschooler who doesn’t really know the answer, but ecstatically waves his hand to be called on anyway: a big commotion with nothing of any value to say.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
The Pharisees lived for outward appearances, while the inside was vile and dead.
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Jesus referred to their “generation” not as an earthly, genealogical generation, but as the generation of Satan’s “children.”
Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
He called it “your house” instead of God’s house because it had been abandoned and left empty.
And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.