Class Notes: 11/13/2014
Mark 12:38-40; Matt 23; Jesus warns about religion part 3
In our study of Mark we are in Mark 12:38-40; this has taken us to Matt 23; for more details regarding Jesus' warnings to His disciples and the crowd and his condemnation of the Jewish leadership.
Last time we noted in Matt 23:10; that the Jewish leaders had established themselves as leaders but that position belongs exclusively to Christ who is the only standard of reference for the proper norms and standards for a relationship with God.
Christ is the only professor and because of this in His absence He has given every believer a standard of reference for objective thinking in the Scriptures of the New Testament. Rom 12:3;
Matt 23:11; "He that is greatest shall be your servant." The Greek word translated "He that is greatest" is the masculine participle of the word 'megas" and it means he who is in a position of spiritual leadership. When he holds this position he becomes a servant.
The word translated servant is the Greek word "diakono" that is transliterated into the English as deacon. It connotes one who functions administratively to provide relief and comfort. Hence it is a servant in the sense of functioning in the realm of doctrine to provide comfort.
The word "greatest" here means he who has the final authority; "shall be your comforter." The comfort must come from the Word. No human being has the ability to comfort in all kinds of adversity.
Only the recall of the thinking of Christ under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit can provide comfort in every situation no matter how adverse it is. John 14:27;
Matt 23:12; The first phrase refers to the religious hierarchy (he that is greatest refers to true spiritual leadership).
It also has to do with any future religious hierarchy, anyone who seeks the office of leadership to fulfill power, praise or approbation lust; "shall be abased."
This means that they will be abased in the sense of disappointment. In other words, they will be frustrated in their attempt because their lust for power never provides true satisfaction.
Jesus Christ controls history and He will judge those in religious leadership for their failure to properly execute their responsibilities. Jer 23:1-2;
The second phrase is the principle of grace and orientation to the plan of God through the use of divine operating assets that are deployed exclusively through the use of the problem solving devices. Exaltation refers to reward.
Every believer who operates in God's grace provision will be rewarded.
We humble ourselves by being consistently filled with the Spirit and having God's Word circulating in our thinking. When you are filled with the Spirit you are humble and God rewards all of your production no matter what you are doing.
In verse 13 Jesus turns goes back to His warnings regarding the Jewish leadership and their religiosity. There are actually 7 woes in this passage because verse 14 is not in the Matthew passage but it is in the passage in Mark 13.
Matt 23:13; "But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" Both groups are religious leaders and Jesus calls them all hypocrites. The Greek word for hypocrite means someone who speaks from behind a wax face. In Greek drama actors spoke from behind wax masks.
"Woe" is an interjection of calamity, "unto you" is a dative of disadvantage. It is to their disadvantage to be religious.
The phrase occurs Seven times in this passage and every time it is dative of disadvantage.
The principle is that there is no advantage to being religious because it is more difficult for a religious man to be saved than any one else. This means that religious people will make up a large percentage of the human population in the lake of fire.
"Woe to you because you keep on closing off" or "you keep on shutting the door to or blocking people away from" present active indicative, you keep on closing it off "the kingdom of heaven," Net note 16
"from people," literally, in front of people. They were blocking people away from entering the kingdom of heaven with their legalism and religiosity in the same way that a tackles a running back away from the making a touchdown in football.
Salvation by works, obscures grace and therefore the Jewish leadership kept on closing or shutting the door to the kingdom of heaven to keep people from entering.
"you don't enter yourselves and you keep on keeping others from entering." They do not believe in Christ and they will not permit those who are moving toward entering to go in.
These words refer to a person who at the point of God consciousness has positive volition but religious people come along and hinder their positive volition
This is the story of Saul of Tarsus before he was saved. He got caught up in the Pharisees religious trap to the extent that he became totally opposed to the believers in the early church.
Religion cut off Paul's positive volition to the point where Jesus Christ had to personally knock Paul off his donkey and present the gospel to him resulting in Paul having positive volition and in his coming to personal faith in Jesus Christ.
The phrase "those who are entering" refers to anyone who at the point of God consciousness has gone with positive volition, they desire a relationship with God. And anyone who is in that category will hear the gospel sooner or later and will respond, except in cases where their thinking has been hardened by religion.
Religion obscures the way of salvation by grace through faith alone by appealing to human good works, it always teaches a system of salvation by works,
Religious teachers who are satan's emissaries take these people as they move toward the cross and block them away from grace into works. They persuade them to accept a works system of morality, keeping the law, and being good. 2Cor 11:13-15;
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