Class Notes: 12/3/2014

Mark 12:38-40; Matt 23:25-26; Jesus warns about religion part 8


In our study of Mark we are in Mark 12:38-40; and the parallel passage in Matt 23; where Jesus is condemning the progressive Jewish leadership because they were teaching manmade religion to the people rather than the grace and truth of God's Word.

Last time we left off in Matt 23:25; with Jesus warning "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess."

Cups and platters are used to serve food and drink. In the analogy the Pharisees were cleaning the outside of the serving dishes but not the inside where the remains of the old food was rotting and decaying.

It's more important to clean the inside than the outside because what is inside will contaminate any additional food that is added.

The Pharisees emphasized the external and ignored the internal condition of the individual.

The word "within" indicates that they were great on taboos and outward morality but inside they were filled with horrible sins and evil. This is what happens with religious people because of their exclusively external focus.

Religion never solves the problem from the inside out with faith alone in Christ alone and Bible Doctrine it just tries to clean up the outside so that it looks presentable even thought it really isn't because what's inside is all contaminated.

The Pharisees' bad example demonstrates two lessons regarding the outside and the inside.

The first lesson is that morality is not spirituality.

The second lesson that an exterior system of morality is no good without the interior support of a mental attitude based on God's Word of truth.

To the casual observer outside they looked righteous and good but inside they had mental attitude sins such as envy, jealousy, pride, hatred, implacability, and bitterness, they had sins that express hostility and hatred, and they had motivational sins including approbation lust, power lust, and monetary lust.

The inner sins made their external "righteousness" a hypocritical sham.

The outside of the serving dish being clean is analogous to morality, taboos, and looking good and clean while at the same time the inside of the cup or the platter where the food is rotting and decaying represents the mental attitude sins and the motivational sins.

Religious people avoid overt immorality while at the same time nursing and catering to their inner mental attitude and motivational sins of pride, jealousy and envy.

Religion always emphasizes the exterior and ignores the mental and the motivational sins that are at the source of all overt sins.

This is exactly what the Antichrist progressive political religious leaders are doing in the USA today. They are trying to make the outside presentable but the inside is nothing but robbery and self-indulgence.

The Greek word translated "robbery" in the NASB is "harpages" that means to seize, confiscate, extort or plunder.

The root word is the base of the word "harpoon" and refers to a hook that was thrown from a pirate ship so the pirates could seize, board, and rob, plunder or extort a merchant vessel while they were sailing.

This is what Jesus described the Jewish leadership as imposing on the people through the confiscatory policies of their man made religious legalism. Mark 7:8;

This is the same practice we see in the USA today where fascist progressive government policies have imposed taxes on the top 20 percent of income earners such that they pay for everything while the other 80 percent of the people receive transfer payments from the government and the bottom 50 percent actually get money from the government and pay no taxes at all.

The Greek word translated "self-indulgence" in the NASB is "akrasis" means "no self control". They were self indulgent to the point of excess because they had no self-control. This means that their lust patterns functioned unabated and they were functioning in power lust, approbation lust, materialism lust, etc.

Their lust for approbation, money and power was unrestrained just like the progressive politicians are today.

These are very serious charges coming from Jesus Christ who is the omniscient God-Man who will judge everyone. John 5:22; 1Pet 4:4-5; Rev 20:13-15;

We see Jesus' repudiation of the leaders of the last Jewish client nation in history and unfortunately there is a direct correlation to the leaders of client nation USA today.

This is a harbinger of very bad things to come if there isn't a revival very soon. 2Chron 7:14; God gave the Jews 40 years before He destroyed their nation and scattered them across the world in 70AD.

Matt 23:26; "You blind Pharisee," anyone who emphasizes the external to the exclusion of the internal is blind. Religion is blind, legalism is blind, pseudo-spirituality is blind, and modern pseudo science that teaches anthropocentric cosmology, evolution, or that burning fossil fuels causes anthropogenic climate change is blind.

They are blind to God's policy of grace where God does and man receives and God has given them over to their blindness. Rom 1:20-32;

© Copyright 2017, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.