The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 142

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.

Hypocrisy Condemned

25 “Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside, they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Parush! First, clean the inside of the cup so that the outside may be clean too.

Although they maintain an outward appearance of purity, they are inwardly filthy. True external holiness (righteous behavior) can be accomplished only after a person is cleansed internally (matters of the heart).

27 “Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but inside are full of dead people’s bones and all kinds of rottenness. 28 Likewise, you appear to people from the outside to be good and honest, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and far from Torah.

Jews would paint their tombs white so that other Jews would not become unclean through accidental contact with a corpse (compare Num 19:16; Luke 11:44). Whitewashed tombs were especially common during the Jewish festivals when many travelers visited Yerushalayim.

And far from Torah is a significantly cutting denunciation when aimed at those who considered themselves the authoritative expositors of the Law.

Persecution Condemned

29 “Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the tzaddikim, 30 , and you say, ‘Had we lived when our fathers did, we would never have taken part in killing the prophets.’ 31 In this, you testify against yourselves that you are worthy descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead then, finish what your fathers started! 33 “You snakes! Sons of snakes! How can you escape being condemned to Gei-Hinnom? (Literally, the garbage dump outside the walls of Yerushalayim. Metaphorically, hell.)

Based on their current actions, the Torah-teachers and the P’rushim are on their way to experiencing God’s judgment and wrath. Yeshua’s rhetorical language warns the P’rushim of the inevitability of their judgment unless they change course.

34 Therefore, I am sending you prophets and sages and Torah-teachers—some of them you will kill. Indeed, you will have them executed on stakes as criminals; some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so, on you, will fall the guilt for all the innocent blood that has ever been shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Hevel (Abel) to the blood of Z’kharyah Ben-Berekhyah (Zechariah), whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar. 36 Yes! I tell you that all this will fall on this generation!

Lament Over Yerushalayim

This lamentation comes from the seventh woe (vv. 29–36). Recalling the past rejection of God’s prophets, Yeshua laments His people’s unwillingness to believe and repent.

37 “Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused! 38 Look! God is abandoning your house to you, leaving it desolate. 39 For I tell you, from now on, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai.’” [1]

The Widow’s Offering

41 Then Yeshua sat down opposite the Temple treasury and watched the crowd as they put money into the offering boxes. Many rich people put in large sums, 42 but a poor widow came and put in two small coins. 43 He called his talmidim to him and said to them, “Yes! I tell you, this poor widow has put more in the offering box than all the others making donations. 44 For all of them, out of their wealth, have contributed money they can easily spare; but she, out of her poverty, has given everything she had to live on.” [2]

Two small coins, literally, “two lepta, which equals a quadrans,” the smallest Roman coin; 64 of them equaled a denarius, which was a day’s wages for a common laborer.

In our next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Mattityahu 23:25–39.
[2] Mark 12:41–44.

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