Back to the Blog!/ October 30 Sermon/Matthew 23:1-12

Sorry about the long absence from weekly commentary.  This has been regrettable and is now remedied.  So let’s look at this diatribe against the Pharisees in Matthew 23.  Jesus calls them out, both respecting their knowledge of the law and regretting their hypocrisy toward it.  What did they know about?  The Law!  What did they do?  They tied up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but refused to lift a finger to help with them.  They coveted the places of honor and sought status.  Now status, according to Jesus, is a double-edge sword.  On the one hand it places one human being above another.  On the other, it leads to a quick fall.  For while Paul spoke of equality of all men and women in Christ, Jesus taught that the high would be made low, the low made high, the servant the master, and the master the servant.  Instead of equality, total reversal.  The greatest example of all this is God’s son crucified by those in authority.  The true authority is held by the oppressed, according to Jesus.  The social order we observe is upside down.  To seek the place of honor is to be laid low.  To serve another is to be master.  It’s a very simple equation that could serve us today if we were to heed it.  But we’re too busy cow-towing to money and grasping onto our desperate belief in a middle class.

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