King's Business - 1915-04



errors of the Pharisees, our Lord proceeds to pronounce various woes upon them. He pronounced eight woes in all Over against these eight woes, we may well set the eight benedictions pronounced in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:3-10). The first charge He brought against them (v. 13) was one of tremendous significance, but they have many followers today who shut up the king­ dom of heaven against men, neither enter­ ing in themselves nor permitting those who are going in to enter. There are many ways in which this can be done (Acts 8:1; John 7:46-52; 1 Thess. 2:15, 16; Luke 11: 52; 2 Peter 2:2; Rom. 2:24). There are . also many today who are guilty of the sec­ ond sin charged against the Pharisees in the second woe, they rob widows and seek to ^©ver it up with a pretense of piety. But their pretense , of piety does''hot cover up their iniquity but only increases their con­ demnation. The Pharisees also have many imitators today in their folly set forth in verse 23, those who are scrupulous in the minor matters of Christian duty, but who omit the' weightier matters of the law, judgment and mercy. This is not to say that they ought not to attend to the minor duties but it is to say they “ought not to leave the other undone:” They are like those who in drinking would strain off the gnat but recklessly swallow the camel. Thursday, April 8. Matt. 23:25-33. Our Lord pronounced a sixth woe upon the Pharisees, because they cleansed the outside of the cup and the platter, making great pretensions to outward purity, while within cup and platter were full of extor­ tion and excess. There is many a platter to­ day that is apparently outwardly clean but full of moral filth within, many a man who makes pretensions to piety who conducts his business along lines of extortion and excess. There are many, too, like the Pharisees as described in verse 28, who« “Outwardly appear righteous unto men, who within are full of hypocrisy and in­ iquity.” In all this the Pharisees, though

hypocrites, were not conscious hypocrites, and not all hypocrites today are conscious hypocrites (Jer. 17:9, 10; 1 Cor. 4:5; Heb. 4:13). The hypocrite is often a zealous worker (v. 15), but none the less his doom is certain and awful (Matt. 24:50, 51). There are_ again many today who are like the Pharisees in that they build memorials for dead prophets while they seek to kill living prophets. It is far easier to build tombs to dead prophets than it is to listen to the words of living prophets, but it is far more acceptable to God to listen to liv­ ing prophets than it is to build tombs to dead ones. Our Lord visited the Phari­ sees with a most scathing denunciation, calling them serpents, generation of vipers, and telling them that they could not escape the damnation of hell. This was not our Lord’s customary manner of speech and it is not wise for us often to speak to men in this way, but there are times when it is wise. Friday, April 9. Matt. 23:34-39. Though our Lord had used such terrific language, the feeling in His heart toward the Jews was one of wondrous tenderness and love (v. 37). Here is a lesson that we each need to learn. It is easy to use such scathing language as our Lord here uses, it does not take a very high order of cour­ age to do it, even though it be against the leaders as it was in our Lord’s case; but it is not easy to have the love in our hearts that was in our Lord’s heart back of the words He uttered. Though He used such stern language, our Lord declares that He is not ready to give them up even yet, He would continue to send prophets and wise men and Scribes to them, even though He knew that some of them they would kill and crucify and some they would scourge in their syuagogues and persecute from city to city. What can match the yearning tenderness of our Lord’s words as re­ corded in the closing verses of the chapter? The outcome of the Jewish treatment of God’s messengers would be that their house

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