State of Confusion:
The State of the People
Mathew 9:36 – But
when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with
compassion on them, because they fainted,
and were scattered abroad, as sheep
having no shepherd.
9:14 – When he saw
the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Hosea 4:4-7 4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for
thy people are as they that strive with the priest. 5 Therefore
shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in
the night, and I will destroy thy mother. 6 My
people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also
reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me (Exodus 19:5-6) seeing thou
hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. 7 As they
were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory
returning to His home town, found His people spiritually weak, confused,
divided, persecuted, and without direction.
He described them as sheep, without a shepherd. Passive
Followers (sheep) – are dependent upon the leaders to do their
thinking and are passive participants, going along with the flow. Pragmatist
Followers (survivors) – are somewhat independent in their
thinking and active engagement.
Passive Followers, or the sheep, do not engage in the construction or formation
of society, but rather appoint others to do so, and subjugate themselves to
these appointees. Therefore, they have
formed no relationship with that which is created, and live vicariously thru
the rulers they have appointed. This is
unlike God, who actively seeks relationships with all whom He creates. The Passive Followers, the children of Judah,
have lost their connection with God.
This barrier led them to be ignorant of God and His ways, and therefore
led to the destruction of Judah’s culture and religion.
people, having no relationship with God, but accepting a relationship with Him
thru a vicar, led to a rejection of the knowledge of God. This concept was established at Mount
Sinai. (Exodus 20:19-20) This separation between God and His people
was later enhanced with the creation of a King.
(1 Samuel 8:7)
the history of Israel is one where the people would flourish when their
leaders, the King, Priests, Scribes and the Disciples would follow, and teach
the people to follow God’s words “indeed”. (Exodus 19:5) The nation of Israel would falter whenever
the leaders, supra, would not follow, and lead the people away for God.
State of the Scribes
(Teachers): (Mathew 9:2-6)
Note: Jesus, seeing
the display of faith, not only of the man with the palsy, but also those who
brought this paralytic to the Living Pool of Bethesda, was moved with
compassion. Christ then expressed to the
man, “thy sins be forgiven thee”, righteousness by faith.
Scribes, whose hearts already existed in an accusative state, found that which
they searched for, a means to accuse the Christ, but not one that which was
true. Their minds, already filled with contempt against
Christ, falsely interpreted the facts, and accused Him of blasphemy. Their accusations would have been valid, if
this were any other man, but this was the “Anointed One”, the Living Word of God,
who is equal to the Father. Therefore,
it is not blasphemy for Jesus, the Christ to forgive men of sins. Blasphemy
– 1. the
act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God 2. the act of claiming the attributes of a deity
attempts to bring back the Scribes, and forgive them for their false
accusations, by explaining to them, just who it was that was conversing with
them, but in their hardened hearts, there was no room for truth. Their hate engulfed all the space in their
hearts and minds. Christ was very clear
that He was the Messiah when He informed the scribes that He had the power on
earth to forgive sins.
Note: The scribes filled with indignation against
Christ (GOD), could not recognize Christ as God, even though they were students
of the Torah, but the ignorant people, glorified God. Could it be, that the scribes could not see
the significance of the miracle because of their jealousy, because the sheep,
were following a different shepherd? The
scribes should have known that Jesus was God because only God can read the
thoughts of man.
The State of the Pharisees:(Religious leaders) Matthew 9:9-13
Note: Jesus, still in His home town, sees a man
sitting at the receipt of customs, but not any man, a tax collector. Tax collectors were admonished by the people
of God and considered to be traitors and servants of Rome. Jesus invites this tax collector, named
Matthew, to become one of His disciples.
Matthew, filled with joy, experiences a change of heart and mind.
Matthew may have existed in a state of self loathing, searching
for a way out, but not knowing how to accomplish the task. Most likely he was a lonely man, since his
fellow country men hated him. His
friends and acquaintances probably existed in a similar state of depression and
rejection, since they too were considered outcasts by the local people and
religious leaders. Perhaps he lived in a
state of spiritual doom, since the religious leaders refused him, and made it
difficult to visit the temple. Without
the temple, man could not come before God and repent of his sins. (Deuteronomy 12:11)
Matthew, feeling so appreciative of his new found joy, made a
dinner to honor his new Master. He invites
all his friends and acquaintances. So we
find Matthew’s house filled with Tax Collectors, and others who were shunned by
society. The Pharisee’s searching for a
reason to accuse Christ, and believing Jesus to be a self proclaimed teacher of
the Torah were appalled by the circumstances.
Here the Pharisees, just as the scribes, are guilty of false
accusations. They infer that Jesus,
since he entertains sinners and thieves, must either be a sinner or thieve, or
complicit with the sinners and thieves. (Ezekiel
33:8) The Pharisees are content that the objective (that which is perceived thru the senses) is the same as the subjective (that which resides in the heart or
mind). The Pharisees by believing that
Christ’s objective actions, sitting with sinners, was the same as His
subjective thought, approving of the actions of thieves and sinners. Therefore, we find the Pharisees to be guilty
of false accusations, and blasphemy.
Christ, in His loving manner, attempts to return those who
persecuted Him back to His fold. He explained to them his subjective
intentions, return sinners to salvation.
He uses the parable that the only the sick require a doctor, and the
righteous do not need any correction.
Christ then directs the Pharisees to true understanding by
challenging them to “go and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy and not
sacrifice. Unfortunately, the hardened
hearts of the Pharisees would not accept the challenge, and are offended by it. The refuse the loving offering of the
5:20 – For I say unto you, That
except your righteousness shall exceed the
righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Note: Had the Pharisees
heeded the advice of Christ, they would have realized that they were found wanting. They would have learned that their knowledge
of the Torah was so insufficient that they could not even recognize the Messiah
when he stood before them. When Christ
stated that he desired mercy and not sacrifice, He was stating that the mercy
comes with the knowledge of God.
State of the Followers of John (the reformers) – Matthew 9:14-17
15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of
the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days
will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they
Note: The disciples of
John, question Christ, why He and His disciples did not conform to the
traditions of Israel? Why did the
disciples not fast? Jesus attempts to
explain to them that when the bridegroom, the Christ, is with them, it is a
time of Joy and Celebration, not a time for Fast. While Christ is with them it is like a
Sabbath. Fasting is to be experienced
for clarification and power, it is not needed since the Messiah, the Word of
God resides with them.
Christ explains to them that the traditions of old will not be a
part of the “New Covenant”, since Christ came to fulfill the promises of the
“Old Covenant”. He showed the followers
of John that to remain in the old traditions, the Ceremonial System, would
negate the New Covenant and the purpose of Christ.
Christ uses two parables to share his message. First, He explains that adding a new piece of
cloth to an old garment will make the old garment weak, and make the tear
worse. Next he states that placing new
wine in old, stretched, dried skins will cause the vessel to burst.
Therefore, Christ has explained to the followers of John that He
is the Messiah, and that the traditions have been fulfilled. He explains that since the Messiah is with
them, it is better to request knowledge directly from God, than fasting and
praying for guidance, when God is “Emanuel”, in front of them.
True Meaning of God’s Law –
Mathew 12:1-8 –
1. At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn;
and his disciples were hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and
2. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to
do upon the sabbath day.
3. But he said unto them, have ye not read what David did, when he was hungered, and they that were with him;
4. How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not
lawful for him to eat,
neither for them that were with him, but only the priest?
5. Or have ye not read in the law, how on the sabbath days the priests in the temple
profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
6. But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater that the temple.
7. But if ye had known what
this meant, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned
8. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
Note: On the sabbath day,
when Christ’s disciples were hungry to the point of fainting, and while walking
thru the corn fields, His followers decided to glean and eat some corn. The Pharisees, filled with indignation
against Jesus, and searching for any means to discredit Him, attacked Him thru
actions of His disciples. They inquire
of Christ why His followers did that which was illegal to do on the Sabbath
day? They accused Jesus and His
disciples of working on the sabbath, a crime punishable by death. Since Jesus did not rebuke His disciples
against their actions, they erroneously inferred guilt to Christ by the act of complicity.
Remember that the Scribes and Pharisees had already gathered to
find a means to eliminate Christ. Their
hearts were filled with malice, jealousy and hatred. These emotions made it impossible for them to
recognize who it was that stood before them.
They had twisted the gospel and taught others to believe the same. For this reason, the children of Israel were
as sheep, without a Sheppard, for this reason Christ had to come and fulfill
the law, (Mathew 5:17) the people were intentionally being taught to
Jesus, in His infinite love and mercy, attempts to find a manner
to forgive the Pharisees of their sins.
He gives biblical precedent to His accusers, reminding them that David,
a man after God’s own heart, at one time found himself and his men in a similar
situation. They were so hungry, and
found nothing to eat, that they had to request of the Chief Priest in the
temple for food. The Priest gave them of
the holy shewbread, and they did eat of it.
This act, according to the law was not legal, but Jesus went on to
explain to the Pharisees that it was not accounted as a sin.
Jesus tried to show the people that the action, without the malice against God is not considered a sin. If there is no intention to break the law,
then there is not breaking of the law, and the action is described as a
mistake. When mankind errors without
knowledge of sin, the Lord winks (Acts 17:30).
Unfortunately, since the Pharisees goal was the destruction of
Christ and not the discovery of truth, they refused the knowledge that God was
sharing with them (Hosea 4:4-7), therefore they were incapable of understanding
what Christ had requested they do, to understand what it meant, “I will have
mercy and not sacrifice”. To understand
God is to love God. To love God is to
keep Him before your face (Exodus 20:20), when God is before our face we follow
Him indeed, and do not sin.
Let us not be caught sleeping.
Let us open our hearts to Christ, and learn from His word, so that He
can lead us back to the Father.