Class Notes: 11/7/2014
Mark 12:38-40 Matt 23 Jesus warns the crowd and his disciples about religion part 2
In our study of Mark we are in Mark 12:38-40 and we are in the parallel passage in Matt 23; where Jesus warning the crowd and condemning the Jewish leadership for their teaching their religion that was based on legalism that was extrapolated from the Mosaic Law and presented as truth and using it to enslave the people.
Matt 23:5;The Pharisees and their hypocrisy were motivated by the lust to be seen and to be perceived as being superior to others.
They performed their religiosity it in front of the people. When they prayed they prayed in front of people, when they gave they did it while everyone was watching.
The word translated "noticed" is the Greek word "theaomai" that means to be seen in public. They were legalistic religious exhibitionists.
A phylactery is a pouch with some paper in it on which some scriptures are written. NET note 7.They carried these around as a good luck charm.
The pouches contained four pieces of paper. On the first paper was Exod 13:1-10; on the second the words of Exod 13:11-16; the third had Deut 6:4-9; and the fourth had Deut 11:13-21; all written with very small handwriting.
They carried these scriptures around like a good luck charm like many people today who wear things they think will bring them good luck. Their religion involved a lot of sentimental emotional superstition rather than rational doctrinal thought.
They strapped these pouches on their heads. That was as close as they could get to putting the scriptures into their minds. They also strapped them on the wrists.
They were strapped with seven straps. The number seven is regarded as the perfect number so the seven straps implied reverence toward perfection.
The Pharisees failed to understand that knowing, believing and doing what the scripture said to do was what mattered, not wearing it.
The implication was that the larger the phylactery the more spiritual one appeared to be. So they wore the scriptures as good luck charms instead of knowing and believing it.
The principle is that and amulets and religious icons are no substitute for regeneration, the filling of the Holy Spirit and Bible Doctrine. The Jewish unbelievers could only emphasize the external rather than the internal.
Matt 23:5b; Jesus goes on to say that they "enlarge the tassles of their garments." Net note 8 The word translated "tassle" in the NASB refers to the hem of a robe. The Pharisees had a wide gold fringe around their garment.
Coming down from this fringe they had gold knots that they wore as a kind of a merit badge, that represented how many hours they had spent in prayer, or how long they had served in temple.
Everyone could see these gold fringes and they eventually made tithe fringes so long that they extended down to their knees. This is what Jesus meant when He said they were enlarging their tassles. However, spirituality is not based on what one wears because spirituality is not an external.
Matt 23:6; Jesus goes on to address their approbation lust. They had big parties that were really mutual admiration societies where they liked to sit in the chief seats so they could look down at the lower classes below them.
The table was elevated so "the chief seats," refers to the best seats at the best tables. They desired prominence. Prominence can make you appear respected and good but it doesn't make you spiritual.
Matt 23:7; Jesus then addresses their power lust. They liked to be recognized and acknowledged by people in public places. The word Rabbi is an academic title for someone who had graduated from one of their theological seminaries and was a professor or teacher of their religion.
Verses 8-10 are parenthetical where Jesus instructs His disciples regarding how they should be different than the Jewish teachers.
Matt 23:8;The word Rabbi referred to a teacher who taught with authority and was used to describe those who had the final authority, but Jesus Christ was and is the final authority and the Rabbi's rejected Him so that demonstrates how terribly wrong out of touch they were. They were not using their authority properly.
Jesus personally said this to them while He was on the earth during the first advent. In his absence during His session in heaven while He is waiting for the conclusion of operation footstool He has left behind His thinking that is revealed in the Bible as the final authority.
In 1Cor 2:12; the Bible that reveals the mind of Christ is the final authority during the Church Age. The words "and you are all brothers" describes believers collectively as a group.
Matt 23:9; This does not mean that you cannot address your paternal parent as father, this is a reference to a person who is a religious leader. A religious leader should never be called Father; "for One is your Father, who is in heaven."
God the Father is the author of the divine plan of grace and no religious leader is in a position to be addressed as father. "Father" carries the concept of absolute authority and God the Father, the first person of the trinity, is the only one who has absolute authority over His plan.
Matt 23:10;"Do not be called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ." The word for "master" is the Greek word "kathegetes" that is used for professor. This is the only instance of this word being used in the New Testament.
This word is used exclusively as a reference for Jesus Christ. This isn't the same word used as "master" anywhere else in the scripture. It is taken from a verb that means to guide according to a norm or standard.
The only one who has the authority to guide according to the correct norm or standard was Jesus Christ while he was personally on earth, and now that He is in session at the right hand of the Father in heaven it is the Word of God that comprises His thinking that is the guide.
Christ is the only Leader per Heb 12:2a; that describes Jesus as the author and perfecter of doctrine and His thinking is the standard of reference.
Rom12:3; The word translated "measure" is the Greek word "metron" that refers to a standard of reference or a tool for measurement. The Greek word "pistis" that translated "faith" an objective genitive so it should be translated "doctrine. "
God has apportioned a standard of reference from doctrine to every believer." This standard of reference or tool for measurement is the thinking of Christ that is contained in God's Word. John 14:26;
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