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Words and Actions...

Matthew 23:13-22

13 “But woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim (Pharisees)! For you are shutting the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces, neither entering yourselves nor allowing those who wish to enter to do so. 14 

15 “Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You go about over land and sea to make one proselyte; and when you succeed, you make him twice as fit for Gei-Hinnom (hell) as you are!

16 “Woe to you, you blind guides! You say, ‘If someone swears by the Temple, he is not bound by his oath; but if he swears by the gold in the Temple, he is bound.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is more important? the gold? or the Temple which makes the gold holy? 18 And you say, ‘If someone swears by the altar, he is not bound by his oath; but if he swears by the offering on the altar, he is bound.’ 19 Blind men! Which is more important? the sacrifice? or the altar which makes the sacrifice holy? 20 So someone who swears by the altar swears by it and everything on it. 21 And someone who swears by the Temple swears by it and the One who lives in it. 22 And someone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and the One who sits on it.

This whole section is Jesus condemning the religious leaders of the day. "Woe to you..." over and over. Most of them are quite clear about their insight and what He is upset about.

We just need to read and allow His Words to penetrate our hearts. Are we "shutting the door to the Kingdom of Heaven with our actions?" Are we "forcing people to swear by something that isn't necessary?" We must be aware of our words and actions. We must make sure they align in what He desires.

If you notice, verse 14 is "missing." Once again, this causes some people to think that modern translations are not accurate and they are eliminating parts of the Word of God.

This is very frustrating, because what modern translations have done is eliminate verses that were NOT in the original transcripts. In the books of Mark and Luke, there is something written similar to what verse 14 says in the KJV. So, yes, Jesus most likely did say the words that were "written." However, in the earliest transcript of Matthew, the words were not included so Matthew most likely did not write them originally.

Remember, each writer of the Gospel had their own interpretation and understanding of what was said. Matthew may not have remembered that one portion and did not include it. We don't know, but was it "added" by the KJV when they put the Bible together? Or was it "deleted later."

Personally, I think the arguments are futile. What one needs to focus on is being willing to learn and gain insight. Some things are Kingdom issues, some are not. How to discern the difference is not always easy.

As always, it is about asking, seeking, knocking...

Love and blessings,


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