Blind GuidesBro. David Chancellor
8/25/2002 11:00 AM
Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
Woe unto you, ye blind guides Christ was plain in what he had to say. These were to be the guides of the people of God, but they had lost sight of what mattered. We need to keep our eyes on that which is truly significant. We could get wrapped up in details and miss the big picture. Every word is essential, but dont get wrapped up in the study of words. Dont miss the overall message. Sometimes we have to study the words to get the meaning, but dont miss the overall point. Christ gives examples of what he is referring to. These were trying to differentiate between two things. To swear by is to say, based on this, this is so. Yet, they had it backwards so far as value was concerned. The gold seemed of more value than the significance of the dwelling place of God. We dont want to miss the significance of God. Being able to argue scripture, but to miss the significance of God is to be a blind guide. The goal of the Bible is to introduce us to God. The temple was much greater than the gold of the temple. Why? Because it was the dwelling-place of God. Their focus was on the gold and its beauty when they should have been focused on being in the presence of God. The temple sanctified the gold, because it was the dwelling-place of God. Which was greater, the gift on the altar, or the altar? The lamb, when it wasnt on the altar, didnt mean much. Yet, on the altar, it was offered as a sacrifice to God. What do we put the most significance on, what we do, or God? Many people have blind guides who would focus their attention on forms and ceremonies. We need to focus on God. We shouldnt seek the blessings and benefits, but we should seek God. Become focused on God. This is what really matters. The Old Testament introduces us to God, who he is, what hes like, and his relationship to man. The prophesies of the Old Testament introduce us to Christ, sent from God to reconcile us to God. The two fit together. You wont understand one without the other. Gods part is important and compared to him, were the insignificant part. When we talk to others about salvation, God is the important part. We cant be who we are without God. Our lives are as they are because of God and his dealings with us. Keep God first. Read the word of God to find out what God has to say. Humanity is missing out on what was provided by God. We dont want others to see us; we want them to see God. The reason we have what we do have is because of what God has done, and others can have this, too. Be sure people can tell from your testimony that God is what made the difference. Whatever touches the altar shall be most holy. We are made holy by what touched us, not by what we touched. The things of the Old Testament were given as types so that we could understand some of the things Christ came to do. Often Bible studies are used to prove something you already have in mind. Study the Bible to find Christ. Hes there. Its better to study to find God and Christ than to study to make a point.
And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Ye are they which justify themselves before men Most people want to look good before others, yet, while you may be accepted of men, it doesnt mean that you are accepted by God. Christ did his Fathers will and his Father was pleased. We can have this relationship to God (our Father). God knows the heart. If well let him have control there, we can be sure that hell be pleased. Where man puts importance is not where God puts it. Covetousness is highly esteemed among men. CEOs have been caught stealing, but they were highly esteemed among men. Covetousness is NOT highly esteemed by God. To God, it is an abomination. When its finished, did I get what God had to say for me? These had the very outreaching of God, but still missed it. They didnt know God. They had the opportunity to protect the word of God and preserve it, but they didnt know God. We dont want to miss out like that. The important thing is to know God. The important message of the gospel is that we can have a personal relationship with God. God needs to be first, the center, the core with us. A religion with God left out is worthless. Put the greater significance on God, who makes the gift significant. We want to get something that draws us closer to him. This is what our worship should be. Have the desire to draw closer to God and serve him. If weve missed that, weve missed it all.