Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which men walk over without knowing it.

What a picture! Creepy isn’t it? Well, no doubt this is the effect the Teacher intends.

He’s describing a religion that appears alive. It’s not. It’s just busy.

A lot of zombie activity without any real heart. Like the Pharisee’s tradition of hand washing, which Jesus intentionally neglects!

What’s wrong with clean hands? Looks good! Kind of like green grass is nice to walk on.

But not if you know you’re treading over hidden corpses. And this is what Jesus knew. Their religious busywork didn’t fool Him.

Their hearts were dead to God.

They were also busy calculating the ten percent tithe due to God. Even on the little herbs that grew in their gardens. Sure seems very religious!

But there’s a problem in all of this. The Teacher sees something vital is missing - you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.

Why did they fall into this trap? Perhaps it is because people tend to form their opinions based on what they observe. One can see activity, but only God sees into the heart.

Religious activity offers a convenient shortcut to favorable public opinion. And that was more important to them than what God knows.

Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.

Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.

1 comment:

  1. gets me wondering, what is it that we may do - and get technically correct - yet not put our hearts into it enough?

    Do we truly mean every word and sentiment we sing, or do we simply enjoy good harmonies and melodies?

    Do we pray honestly? Or do we repeat the same mundane phrases over and over again?

    What about our giving? have we truly purposed what we do bring? And do we give it joyfully?

    Sometimes ritual and routine can get in the way, when reality is that our hearts need to be engaged.