Gospel: Matthew 23:13-22
But woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door to the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You, yourselves, do not enter it, nor do you allow others to do so.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You devour widows’ property; and as a show, you pray long prayers! Therefore, you shall receive greater condemnation. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel by sea and land to make a single convert; yet, once he is converted, you make him twice as fit for hell as yourselves!
Woe to you, blind guides! You say: To swear by the temple is not binding; but, to swear by the gold of the temple is binding. Foolish men! Blind men! Which is of more worth: the gold in the temple, or the temple which makes the gold a sacred treasure? You say: To swear by the altar is not binding, but to swear by the offering on the altar is binding. How blind you are! Which is of more value: the offering on the altar, or the altar which makes the offering sacred? Whoever swears by the altar, is swearing by the altar and by everything on it.
Whoever swears by the temple, is swearing by the temple, and by God, who dwells in the temple. Whoever swears by heaven, is swearing by the throne of God, and by him, who is seated on it.
“Woe to you, hypocrites.”
We learn of some people who give gifts so that they can exercise certain degree of subtle control or manipulation over others. We learn of people who employ the services of professional “image” builders to transform themselves attractively before the eyes of the public. We also learn of people, groups, organizations who create situations to deflect attention from real issues; to cover up their agen da and wrongdoings; and even to justify atrocity, killings and war.
Many people think they can get away with it unnoticed. They think people around them do not know their hypocrisy or insincerity. We have experiences of this kind of people who project a pleasing external image far different from what is inside. All the above are tactics intended to deceive others for personal and selfish gain; and, they show up as expressions of hy pocrisy. Sometimes we are able to recognize them, but in some cases they are not easy to detect. That is why, more than ever, to develop a critical thinking is wise. It is wise to subject things to question(s): Is it true? Is it really the case? Why is it so? Is it really of genuine value?
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019