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Jesus told His disciples to not follow the path of the Pharisees, as they were the blind leading the blind. What did Jesus mean by this, and why would He rebuke these leaders?
Woe to you, Pharisees, and other religious leaders. Hypocrites! For you won't let others enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and you want go in yourselves. You pretend to be holy, with all your long , public prayers in the streets, while you are evicting widows from their homes. Hypocrites! Yes, woe upon you hypocrites. For you go to great lengths to make one convert, and then you turn him into twice the son of hell you are yourselves. Matthew 23:13-15
Yes, woe to you, Pharisees, and other religious leaders, hypocrites! For you tithes down to the last mint leaf in your garden, but ignore the important things, justice mercy and faith. Yes you should tithe, but you shouldn't leave the more important things undone. Matthew 23: 23,24
Woe to you, Pharisees and religious leaders, hypocrites! You are so careful to polish the outside of the cup, but the inside is foul with extortion and greed. Blind Pharisees! First cleanse the inside of the cup, and then the whole cup will be clean. Matthew 23: 25,26
Woe to you, Pharisees, and religious leaders! You are like beautiful mausoleums full of dead man's bones, and the foulness of corruption. You try to look like saintly men, but underneath those pious robes of yours are hearts besmirched with every sort of hypocrisy and sin.
Matthew 23: 27,28
We see in these scriptures, these leaders were legalistic, holding others accountable for their sins, but committing the same sins or worse themselves, They were hypocrites. Theses leaders made people pay money, and buy animal sacrifices from them to be offered on the alter. They also made those who confessed their sins, pay monetarily for forgiveness. They had no love or compassion or mercy, it was truly a religion of condemnation and hypocrisy and a way of control for gain. Jesus hated this!
The Nicolaitans were as the Pharisee's invading the churches mention in the book of Revelation 2:1,6 also 2:12,15 Jesus hates this, and states He will remove the church lampstand, if they do not repent. Revelation 2:5, 16
It can be easy to fall into this self righteous personality, being deceived that we are perfect and judging and condemning others while being sinners ourselves. Some believing they are God;s arm of judgement. We must remember what we were like before we came to Christ. We are to judge what is Godly and what is not but we are not to condemn, unless we wish to be condemned ourselves by Christ. Jesus made it clear as we judge others so shall we be judged. We are to lead others to Christ by teaching and showing the love God has for them. We must teach in truth, and sometimes the truth hurts. Our witness is to be like Christ, not our own righteousness. When we teach the Word of God some will be offended by the scriptures, but many will understand and repent. Was Jesus and His Apostles all about political correctness and and love without obedience? Did they try to be approved socially or distort the Word of God to be popular?
The world hated Jesus and crucified Him because of His teachings and because He stated He was the Son of God. And so it will hate those that teach in His name. Those who are disobedient, lawless and self righteous, these rebel against God and rebel against those who teach the truths of God. They murdered the Apostles that gave us God's Word.
We must press on as the Disciples of Christ teaching God's truths in love and mercy. When we feel any spirit of condemnation we must check ourselves, are we like these religious leaders, hypocrites?
This does not mean we give in to political correctness, or social correctness. We as believers are not to change the meaning of the scriptures to accommodate the world. But to stand on the scriptures as they are written.
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world is an enemy of God. James 4:4