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Matthew 23:16-17

Lesson # Matt. 23:16-17
Study Material - Matt. 23:16-17

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.

Matt. 23:16-17

16 Woe [ouai] unto you [humin] , ye blind [tuphlos] guides [hodegos] , which [ho] say [lego] , Whosoever [hos] [an] shall swear [omnuo] by [en] the temple [naos] , it is [esti] nothing [oudeis] ; but [de] whosoever [hos] [an] shall swear [omnuo] by [en] the gold [chrusos] of the temple [naos] , he is a debtor [opheilo] !
17 Ye fools [moros] and [kai] blind [tuphlos] : for [gar] whether [tis] is [esti] greater [meizon] , the gold [chrusos] , or [e] the temple [naos] that sanctifieth [hagiazo] the gold [chrusos] ? KJV-Interlinear

Matt. 23:16-17

16 'Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obligated.' 17 'You fools and blind men; which is more important, the gold, or the temple that sanctified the gold? NAS

The third woe or curse is for the perversion of truth caused by the Pharisees. They, and anyone like them, take truth and distort it. They make up convenient rules for doing this or for doing that.

Here is the vow making game. When one vows on the temple, then it is assumed to be non-binding. If however a person makes a vow or promise based on the gold of the temple, then that is assumed to be binding and irreversible.

This is very similar to kids making dares and double dares, or double dog dares and so forth. If you have you fingers crosses then that is an out. This is just another kids game only for adults.

A person makes a promise and states that he will keep that promise naming the temple - 'As the temple is my witness ...' But as we have said, if he later on reconsiders his promise, then he can freely change his mind, and this is upheld in the temple court system. You see, a child's game is magnified into something held with high distinction in society.

The other part of this is the promise naming the gold of the temple as the basis for that promise. No fingers crossed here. There is no out for the promise maker.

Have we seen these kinds of laws within our current day society? Yes. Just look to some to the third world countries who rule by the letter of their religion. Females especially have to undergo unbelievably silly rules lest they risk various forms of punishment.

Mankind can come up with a lot of crazy ideas that lack total common sense and logic.

Here Jesus asks why one is more important than the other. The temple is important in the concept of the place of worship. The gold is important in that it is the concept of the valuable information (scripture) within the temple. Both are equally and together of the highest importance. One cannot be without the other.

Yet the Pharisees play games with the temple and its contents, pretending that there is a relative status between the two. That mankind can make up arbitrary rules for mans function from day to day.

God does not play games. God does not make up arbitrary rules. God is the source of truth and nothing but truth comes from God, Titus 1:2, Heb. 6:18.

On the other hand anyone who does not abide by God truth is a liar. Satan is the father of lies and nothing but lies comes from Satan, Jn. 8:44. Furthermore, anyone who ignores Gods principles of truth (any or all of them), in effect exchanges truth for lies, Rom. 1:25. This is exactly what Esau did when he returned home and traded his birthright to Jacob for a meal. That principle and story teaches us all that whenever we trade Gods principles away for whatever compromise we feel is important to us in life, then we are exchanging truth for a lie, and lies are in effect nothing.

We are giving up gold for nothing. That is always a bad trade. But peoples desires and lusts and insecurities and so forth, drive them to make the wrong decisions. Comfort with ones appetite, or the comfort that ones appetite gives them means more to people than the spiritual truth God provides. When people come into a conflict between the things they believe or want in life, and Bible doctrine, then that becomes a huge barrier which is very difficult to overcome.

We have studied this using examples like shacking up rather than getting married, or embracing same sex relationships, or even a woman's rejection of the obedience concept to her husband as illustrations of this concept of preoccupation with something that people prefer or reject rather than believing Gods principles and embracing them. They trade away Gods truth, for their own beliefs, and they short circuit their spiritual lives to some degree.

Playing games with Gods truth is a bad idea. Making up ones own rules and beliefs is never a good idea because this leads to trouble in ones life sooner or later. Playing kiddy games as with the pretension of making one form of promise better than another form of promise is sheer nonsense.

But then any form of departure from Gods principles of truth is a lie and therefore nonsense. To present this kind of thinking to the masses of society is perverting the truth, and is tantamount to walking in total darkness. Thus the blind leading the blind. They reject the truth which is the light which allows us to see life clearly, and therefore they cannot see life because their souls are full of darkness. This makes one blind. A blind person cannot navigate in life and doom is their destination. They just do not see it. They refuse to see it and that is the blindness that arrogance imposes on those who defiantly maintain their false standards. They destroy themselves.

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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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