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Lesson # Matt. 23:5-7
Study Material - Matt. 23:5-7
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
5 But [de] all [pas] their [autos] works [ergon] they do [poieo] for [pros] to be seen [theaomai] of men [anthropos] : [de] they make broad [platuno] their [autos] phylacteries [phulakterion] , and [kai] enlarge [megaluno] the borders [kraspedon] of their [autos] garments [himation] ,
6 And [te] love [phileo] the uppermost rooms [protoklisia] at [en] feasts [deipnon] , and [kai] the chief seats [protokathedria] in [en] the synagogues [sunagoge] ,
7 And [kai] greetings [aspasmos] in [en] the markets [agora] , and [kai] to be called [kaleo] of [hupo] men [anthropos] , Rabbi [rhabbi] , Rabbi [rhabbi] . KJV-Interlinear
5 'But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries, and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6 'And they love the place of honor at banquets, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called by men, Rabbi. NAS
Negative people are driven by their arrogance and self centeredness. Their arrogance in turn drives their indifference to truth. Their indifference cancels out any empathy, or sympathy, or interest in the opinions of others. Other people are lowered in the minds of the negative person, to something beneath themselves.
The negative person, the false teacher, as it were, will make truth relative and this ends up in distortion. They interpret truth falsely and interpret truth in a manner which is convenient to their own way of life. The symbols in our verse were intended to be reminders of the inward work of doctrine in the soul, and therefore were intended to focus ones attention on Bible doctrine. These Pharisees however changed this to bring attention to themselves. The symbols became decorations of rank, and authority (even though self appointed). When people saw these things then people were supposed to be in awe of the person wearing them.
From The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, is following description:
'Phylacteries were sometimes called tephillin, a name derived from the Hebrew word translated 'frontals' in Deut 6:8 and 11:18 (cf. Ex 13:16). Phylacteries were small square boxes made of leather from a ceremonially clean animal. After being dyed black, the leather was sewn into a box using twelve stitches, each stitch representing one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Placed into each phylactery were copies of Ex 13:1-10 and 13:11-16 and of Deut 6:4-9 and 11:13-21. The phylactery worn on the head had four compartments, each containing one of the texts on a small piece of parchment. The phylactery worn on the hand contained a single piece of parchment on which all four texts were written. The Hebrew letter shin (y) was inscribed on both sides of the box worn on the head, and the head strap was tied to form the letter daleth (d) and the hand strap to form the letter yodh (j). The three letters together formed Shaddai, one of the ancient names of God usually translated 'Almighty.' Long leather straps were used to bind one box to the forehead and the other to the arm and left hand, because the left side was considered to be closer to the heart. There is no record of the use of phylacteries until about 400 B.C. during the intertestamental period. Relics of them were found in the Essene community at Qumran near the Dead Sea. Phylacteries is a transliteration of the Greek phulaktria, which referred to a means of protection or a safeguard. In pagan societies it was sometimes used as a synonym for amulet or charm. Although trust in such magical protection was clearly condemned in the Old Testament, as apostate Jews drifted away from God's Word--the very Word of which the phylactery was meant to remind them--they invariably picked up pagan beliefs. Consequently, some Jews came to look on their phylacteries as magical charms for warding off evil spirits and other dangers.'
End of description.
So you can see how the use of these decorative items has become distorted from their original intent of reminding one of the principles of Bible doctrine, rather than being items of approbation. One other item from this same commentary is as follows:
'Rabbinical writings included detailed systems of protocol for such things as addressing, consulting with, and entertaining rabbis and scribes. They were held in such high regard that, according to one passage in the Talmud (Sanhedrin, 88 b), it was considered more punishable to act against the words of the scribes than against the words of the Scripture.' The MacArthur New Testament Commentary.
When people become so focused on themselves, then their sense of authority becomes distorted as well. They look upon themselves as being greater than they really are. They bring attention to themselves for all the 'sacrifice' they wish the masses to witness, and therefore their arrogance drives their ego and their self importance. This often leads to injustices.
Self sacrifice is not limited to leaders and priests. People in common day to day activities can become so intent on the things they do for others, that they exaggerate their own importance, or their own sacrifice in such a manner that if you do not thank them, or do not notice their effort, then they are angered at not being given the credit they feel they deserve. These folks too, are drive by a selfish rather than a selfless attitude. Self is their focus, rather than selfless service.
Jesus Christ could have said to heck with it all. He received more rejection than anyone who has ever lived, and no one will ever match the rejection He received. But, He did not throw in the towel, He persevered and endured the Cross because of Who He was, not because of the opinions of others.
A person who is constantly in need of recognition, reassurance and public credit for their efforts, is in fact a slave to the opinions of others. When they do not receive them, they become angered. When they receive them, then their ego's inflate their own self effort and self worth over that of all others.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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