Matthew 23: 16-23

(9. Legalism always needs more interpretation.)

16      Woe to you, blind guides, who say, "Whoever swears by the temple is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated."

17     You fools and blind; which is more important, the gold, or the temple that sanctified the gold?

18     And, "Whoever swears by the alter is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering upon it is obligated."

19     You are blind!  Which is more important, the offering or the altar that sanctifies the offering?

20     Therefore whoever swears includes both the altar and everything on it.

21     And whoever swears by the temple includes the temple and the One who dwells within it.

22     And whoever swears by heaven includes the throne of God and the One who sits upon it.

23     Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin (tiny herbs), and have neglected the weightier provisions of the Law: justice and mercy and faithfulness.  These are the things you should have done and not neglected.

Author's Note: Whenever laws and rules become absolute, they demand continuous explanations and interpretations.  Only the full time experts can keep up with the whole system.  In the time of Jesus, the Pharisees and scribes were the experts.  The average person is left out and made to be dependent on the leaders and professional clergy to tell the people what to believe and to do.  Jesus came to destroy the whole system and teach individuals to think for themselves. Have you yet let Jesus teach you to think for yourself?

On to No. 10


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