To all those labelled “Jesus freaks ” I salute you and honour you. (2)

How many people in authority from all facets do you attribute these woes which Jesus attributed to the scribes and the Pharisees?

The scribes and Pharisees were supposed to know God and assist others in knowing and following Him. Instead religious leaders augmented God’s Law making it a burdensome and onerous burden. They also did not follow God with an open heart. Their religion was not based on true worship of God but rather on a proud heart.

He accused them of missing the spirit. He called them “hypocrites” because they prevented people from knowing God with their empty religion.
He condemned them for putting forth great effort to win converts and then leading those converts to be “twice as much” children of hell as they were.

In other words they were more concerned with spreading their religion than with preserving truth. He calls them “blind guides” and “blind fools” in the third woe because they nit-picked about which oaths were binding and which were not ignoring the sacred nature of all oaths and the significance of the temple and God’s holiness.

The fourth woe criticizes the scribes and Pharisees for diligently paying the tithe while failing to care for people. They “neglected the more important matters of the law—justice mercy and faithfulness” while counting their mint leaves to ensure they gave one-tenth to the temple. They focused on the letter of the Law and proudly obeyed it but they missed the weightier things of God. Their religion was merely external; their hearts had not been transformed.

In the fifth woe Jesus elaborates on their hypocrisy because they appear clean on the outside but are rotten from the inside “full of greed and self-indulgence”. They do not have God-honouring hearts.

In the sixth woe He adds that they are “like whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” The deadness inside of tombs is likened to the “hypocrisy and wickedness” inside the religious leaders. Again they appear to obey God but their hearts are far from Him.

Jesus concludes His seven-fold reproach by telling the religious leaders that they are like their fathers who persecuted the prophets of old.They testify against themselves by erecting monuments to the prophets openly admitting that it was their forefathers who killed the prophets. They will soon plot the murder of the Son of God Himself despite their arrogant claim that they would not have done so.

Because there was so much at stake Jesus’ words are harsh. Those who adhered to the Pharisees and scribes were barred from following God. So much of Jesus’ teaching was in direct opposition to God’s Word. The religious leaders made a mockery of God’s followers. They did not fully comprehend God’s ways and they led others astray. Jesus wished for people to come to know God and be reconciled to Him.

Religious leaders spread lies under the guise of godliness. Because He came to bring life Jesus spoke harshly against them.

Jesus was not harsh to be mean. He was not having a temper tantrum. Rather love guided His actions. Jesus spoke firmly against the deception of Satan out of a desire for people to know truth and find life in Him.

He was loving and compassionate and spoke up for the people to set them free from all that is fake including fake spirituality   from hatred from suppression and oppression.

This applies up till this day. There is utter freedom when one finds Christ and you start to “realeyes” the deception that indoctrination has put on you.
In the gospel of Thomas which for some reason which the readers might want to explore happened not to be in the Bible Jesus had uttered these three out of many more statements:

“The kingdom of God is within you and all around you.”

“The kingdom of heaven is spread upon the Earth and men do not see it.”

“Heaven is like a mustard seed the smallest of all seeds but when it falls on prepared soil it produces a large tree and becomes a shelter for birds in the sky.”

Jesus wanted us free and awake in body mind and spirit. If we all seek to find and know God from our traumas our imperfections our solitude our life-altering experiences then you would find Christ just like I found Him waiting for me at the crossroads.

To all those labelled “Jesus freaks ” to all those seeking to know and find God to all those who have dealt with or are dealing with traumas and addictions to all those who are going through any pain judgment hatred abuse and hardships to all those living their lives with integrity to all those who are misunderstood to all those who are going through any kind of persecution I salute you and honour you.

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