#2 For devouring widows' houses, and making long prayers for a pretense.
#3 For traveling long distances on mission trips and converting men into even worse sons of hell.
#4 For teaching others to swear by the gold of the temple, and counting the temple as nothing, and for valuing the gift on the altar and not the altar itself.
#5 For paying tithes on spices and neglecting the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.
#6 For washing the outside but being full of extortion and self-indulgence.
#7 For looking like beautiful tombs, all white and sparkling -- but being full of all uncleanness and dead bones. (Appearing righteous, but being full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.)
#8 For building monuments to righteous men when you are the sons of their murderers. 'How can you escape the condemnation of hell?'
Then He said, "I send you prophets, and you kill them. All their blood will come on you."
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you persecuting murderer --
how I have wanted to gather you to Me.
But you were not willing.
You won't see me again
until you say,
'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'
This is not a chapter I usually enjoy reading or thinking about. But a few things stood out to me from it this morning.
Jesus indicts the Pharisees.
I, too, have been indicted by the word of God.
We all fall short of the glory of God.
But pretending to be clothed in it is asking for woe.
They barred the gates of heaven
against men they deemed to be unworthy of it.
Refusing to enter by grace through faith,
they held back others who might enter
by grace through faith.
'Conform to our brand of holiness, first.
Wear our kind of clothes.
Eat our kind of food.
Drink only approved beverages.
Only dance our dances.
Listen to our music.'
But those things do not address holiness.
They are straining out gnats, but swallowing whole camels.
Being outwardly righteous by conformity does not wash the inside.
And the inside is what God looks at.
I think what I saw that I haven't seen before
is that Jesus was not barring the kingdom from the Pharisees.
His heart leaked out even in these woes.
'How can you escape the condemnation of hell?'
Seeing you won't enter by grace through faith,
how will you enter?
He reasons here with them.
You are guilty.
You teacher of the law.
It judges you.
And until you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,'
you won't see Me.
There is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved.