THEME: THE PHARISEE SPIRIT
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”
-The best part of Matthew chapter 23 is a lamentation to the Pharisees and Scribes, who have been rebuked for their hypocritical ways and self gratification. Although they gave a tenth of garden herbs which were commonly used for fragrance in the temple, their ways blinded their followers. Mint is a garden herb, which was sprinkled on the floors of the synagogues to produce a pleasant fragrance. Anise which is also known as dill, and has a fine aromatic smell, is used by confectioners and perfumers. Cummin is a plant of the same genus like fennel and used as for manufacture of spice. Pharisees were also referred to as blind guides for they led others astray. Instead of focusing on weightier matters like; justice, mercy and faith, they only considered the law but did not understand it. Like a person who looks in a mirror but see a different face, they did not understand the perfect law of love even though they pretended to live by it. They did not adhere to justice which is the administration of law in courts of judicature and execution of good judgments. Merciful acts of compassion to the distressed, relieving the necessitous, distributing to their wants and showing all kindness and beneficence to the poor and needy, which they seldom practiced. Faith in Jesus even after performing many signs which they also requested. Further, believing in the word of God and His promises, and loving Him and their neighbors as commanded in the law.
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor entered into the heart of man, the things which You God has prepared for us who love You. Help us to love You more and to always rely on Your mercy, love and justice. You are worthy Lord to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth. We have faith in You Lord. Your are our good Shepherd Jesus guide us in the way we should go. Direct all our leaders especially our president so that His decision may only come from You. Bless our nation Lord and bless the work of our hands, so that we may increase in the land. Give us the desires of our hearts and make all our plans succeed according to the riches of Your glory. Bless us Lord and keep us, make Your face shine upon us and be gracious to us, lift Your countenance upon us and give us peace. Amen
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