Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 August 2022   Matthew 23:28.

Matthew 23:28.      Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).

And what do we say on this cloudy Friday morning, the last one in August of 2022? ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! The weekend’s here and we’re alive and kicking!’ Yes friends, we are ever so glad to be alive on another momentous day, where a brand new batch of God’s mercies and compassions have been formulated and dispensed once again for us to enjoy. (smile) What a wonderful God we serve my people! 

However, I don’t believe we show Him enough LOVE and gratitude for all that He’s done, is doing, and has promised to do for us, otherwise our good ship, namely our world, would not be listing so badly towards the devil and his dark and evil ways. The name and wonderful ways of Jesus Christ ought to be leading the world instead of Satan’s evil ugliness. And we only have ourselves to blame for that, since we don’t do His work, and sincerely proclaim His name as much as we ought to. 

And this most appropriate verse jumped out at me just now when I went looking for a scripture to prove my point. It’s Jesus talking to the multitudes during the Sermon on the Mount, where He declares to them, in no uncertain fashion: ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 5:20). 

Now, In Jesus’ day, that was a very damning remark against those groups of leaders, since they were looked upon as the most religious people in all of Israel. However, their religiosity was largely outward show, with little or no inward sincerity. That’s why Jesus also had more scathing words for them: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt. 23:27-28) 

Wow! I believe those are some of Jesus’ most vitriolic words, and imagine that nuh, they were spoken to the religious leaders of the day. And if Jesus says it’s so, then it was obviously so! (smile) But before we continue, here’s an interesting tidbit on the subject from the scholars. They say of the term ‘Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean under the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

So, we see where Jesus got the concept from, and how appropriate it was to the leaders, as well as understandable to His listeners. Now, getting back to the hypocrisy and iniquity of the scribes and Pharisees, we are currently seeing the same sort of hypocritical behaviour from a large portion of the supposed Christian population, especially in the leadership realm. Every day there’s some sort of scandal about a religious leader, and not of any one denomination either, but in almost all of them. 

Now how can that kind of scandalous behaviour work for the benefit of Christ eh? It certainly can’t! That’s why so many people are turning away from Christ and laughing in the face of Christianity. And we the ordinary congregants are no better than our leaders, because we also talk a good spiritual talk, but our actual walk is also rather hypocritical; we don’t do what we say, or what we advise others to do. We put on a good show, but almost always, that’s all it ever is, nothing but a show! 

That means we are no better than the scribes and Pharisees of old. and that’s why Christ’s movement is not further ahead than that of Satan! We supposed believers ought to be standing up strong and steadfast against the world’s evil doers and doings, but more often than not, we are instead cowering in fear of what the world can do to us, or in cahoots with the world, enjoying its lusts and pleasures, or we simply don’t care and thus do nothing. But please remember that to do nothing IS to do something, just not something useful for whatever cause you believe in! 

And just think about this for a moment nuh…what kind of people are we, how can we claim to believe in Christ Jesus and yet do so little to acclaim His name, but so much to bring shame and disgrace to it? And yet we still expect Him to positively answer our prayers and problems. Hn! It seems we believe that our God is there to placate our every whim and fancy, but the truth is, we have been made to satisfy His desires, and if we don’t, then we’ll pay the consequences. It’s as simple as that. And believe me, there will be serious, life changing consequences for our hypocritical, two-faced behaviour, unless we smarten up right away and begin doing what we know we should be doing. End of sermon! 

Now let’s go to God through our Friday Chant and ask for His divine help and forgiveness. As one sincere voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, for our sakes, but more so, those of our children, let’s wake up and do the right things nuh, because our progeny will pay the price for our unrighteousness. Much LOVE!

…instead of talking our faith…let’s show it instead by our sincere works nuh…for faith without works is dead… 

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