Passion Week ~ Tuesday (continued)
In our last post, we examined the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, we walk with Yeshua as He returns to Yerushalayim for the final time. Yes, we are still on Tuesday.
False Religion Condemned
13 “But woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! For you are shutting the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces, neither entering yourselves nor allowing those who wish to enter to do so. 14 Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! For you swallow up widow’s houses while making a show of davvening (praying) at great length. Because of this, your punishment will be all the worse!
Nowhere is it more evident than here that the image of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” falls short of reality. The repeated slashing litany, Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim angers Jews, mystifies Gentiles, and embarrasses Believers, who find Yeshua remarks intemperate, antisemitic, even “un-Christlike.” But Yeshua, like all the prophets, spoke the words of God without fear or favor. He comforted those who were open to Him and made repeated invitations to those who opposed Him. Still, when it had become evident that these particular Torah-teachers and P’rushim were hardhearted, closed-minded, and interested only in confronting or trapping him, He seized the initiative, revealing His accusers for what they were. Was He “unloving” toward them? Love must sometimes be challenging. Even less was He antisemitic: His within-the-family correction was aimed at making these Jewish brothers of His live up to their high calling. If Yeshua was unloving or antisemitic, one must say the same of all the Jewish prophets, from Moshe to Malachi.
16 “Woe to you, you blind guides! You say, ‘If someone swears by the Temple, he is not bound by his oath; but if he swears by the gold in the Temple, he is bound.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is more important? the gold? or the Temple, which makes the gold holy? 18 And you say, ‘If someone swears by the altar, he is not bound by his oath; but if he swears by the offering on the altar, he is bound.’ 19 Blind men! Which is more important? the sacrifice? or the altar which makes the sacrifice holy? 20 So someone who swears by the altar swears by it and everything on it. 21 And someone who swears by the Temple swears by it and the One who lives in it. 22 And someone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and the One who sits on it.
According to Exodus 29:37–38: “ … the altar will be most holy, and whatever touches the altar will become holy. This is what you are to offer upon the altar: two lambs a year old every day, continually.”
23 “Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You pay your tithes of mint, dill, and cumin, but you have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah – justice, mercy, and trust. These are the things you should have attended to – without neglecting the others! 24 Blind guides! – straining out a gnat, meanwhile swallowing a camel! 
The weightier matters of the Torah – justice, mercy, and trust. Yeshua seems to be alluding to Micah 6:8: “ … what does Adonai require of you but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God?”
These … you should have attended to—without neglecting the others! Yeshua clearly upholds keeping even the minutiae of the Law. Those who encourage Messianic Jews to stop observing the Torah ignore His advice here and in Mattityahu 5:17–20. Nevertheless, the main point in this and the following verse is that one should adequately order one’s priorities to live a life pleasing to God. We will get to that following verse in our next post.
In our next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week.
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 Mattityahu 23:13–24.