Jesus began talking with the crowds and with his disciples, warning them against becoming like the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. They were so caught up in the externals of religion and with following their traditions that they failed to show love, justice and mercy. They twisted and distorted the word of God for their own advantage. They were hypocrites, for they did not practice what they preached. They loved to be honored and recognized in public places, and worked hard at appearing righteous on the outside, though they were full of wickedness on the inside. Jesus is still warning us against such attitudes and hypocrisy in our own lives, and against following after such leaders or becoming just like them.
An Original Work / May 31, 2012
Based off Matthew 23
Woe to you, teachers of the law;
Hypocrites, you keep men from God.
You refuse to obey the truth,
Nor will you permit others to.
You travel o’er land and sea
To win a single convert to you.
When he becomes one
You make him twice as much
A “son of hell” as you are.
Woe to you, blind guides of mankind.
You distort the words of your God.
By your practices you declare
Your oaths mean nothing, though you swear.
You give a tenth of your spices,
But you neglect justice, mercy.
When you focus your
Time and talents on
What is external, you miss out.
Woe to you, who appear so clean,
When inside you are crass and mean.
You work hard to look so upright,
While you hide all your sins inside.
You deceive yourselves when you think
You would not have done what others
Did to God’s messengers
And prophets of old,
For you will do much the same.
You’re to blame.