Truth

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Are you a modern day Pharisee?


The Pharisees in Jesus’ time were revered by the people, but Jesus had very harsh words for them.

These pompous, holier than thou men towered over the people like mighty guardians. They were members of a religious sect who often clashed with Jesus over His interpretation of the Law.

The name Pharisee means (separated one). Hence, the Pharisees separated themselves from society to study and teach the law, but they also separated themselves from the common people and labelled them religiously unclean.

Regardless, the Pharisees commanded respect from the masses because of their pious persona. Still, Jesus was not impressed. He saw them as empty shells and scolded the group for unnecessary punishments they placed on the poor.

In a scathing rebuke of the Pharisees found in Matthew 23 and Luke 11, Jesus called them hypocrites and exposed their sins. He compared the Pharisees to whitewashed tombs, which are beautiful on the outside but  are filled with dead men’s bones and uncleanness on the inside.

 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. ” (Matthew 23:13).

“Woe to you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things” (Matthew 23:23).

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs that indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:27-28).

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Jesus is the answer for the world’s problem


There is so much trouble in the world; one can hardly keep up with the frequency of troubling events that keep popping up.

Here in the USA we have more than our fair share of problems.

But the world does not have to exist in a continuous state of unrest. If its citizens could find it important to set their differences aside and see each other as human beings, rather than non-entities, then this wretched world would be a better place.

Still, I am aware that it will take more than spoken and written words to change the world. It will take a revival, but revival cannot happen without willing hearts.

Therefore, I am suggesting people everywhere embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ and apply them to their lives. A good place to start is Matthew 5:38-48:

Teaching about Revenge

“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you got sued in court and your shirt got taken in the process, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

Teaching about Love for Enemies

“You have also heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

The narrow way


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Jesus said: “I am the door. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures” (John 10:9). 

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many  go in by it. But narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

 

Up from the grave He arose


Matthew 27 and 28, 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

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So, the Romans nailed Jesus to the cross and waited until He was dead. (they thought that was the end of the trouble maker)  Then they handed the body over to Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea. Joseph wrapped the body in a long sheet and placed it in his personal tomb which was carved out of a large rock. He then rolled a great stone across the entrance.

The Bible says on the next day, (the Sabbath), the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ So we are requesting that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then tell everyone he was raised from the dead!
Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.

But something spectacular would happened on Sunday morning. The Bible says, early on Sunday morning, as a new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.

  • O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
  • For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Suddenly there was a great earthquake and an angel came down from heaven, rolled the stone aside, and sat on it. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here! He is risen from the dead, just as He said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and He is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”

The women ran from the tomb quickly. They were frightened but also filled with great joy. They rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to Him, grasped His feet, and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”