Weightier Matters

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, 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!  Matthew 23:23-24

Garden herbs, not really the kind of farm produce that the tithe was designed to cover (Leviticus 27:30). But the Pharisees meticulously weighed out a tenth of every herb, and gave God His due. And yet, Jesus points out they’re omitting completely the important things of judgment: of love in showing mercy, and faith in God and not themselves. Majoring in the minor things and skipping over the more important matters. These were the weightier matters and moral principles of the law. God forbid if we ever come to the place of self sufficiency. No matter what state of condition my heart is in, I cannot ever think that I’m above my need of the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness through His grace for me. We should all be relying completely upon His grace and mercy for our lives. Then we will better be able to fulfill the law that God has for us without neglecting the more important principles which is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5). Jesus saved His most critical statements for those whose pride had blinded them from the real relationship God is seeking from us, not based on our own merits, like feeble attempts at upholding the law, but rather through humility and the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 22:4). “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). The opposite of self-sufficiency is poor in spirit with the deep humility of recognizing one’s utter spiritual bankruptcy.

The Bible teaches us that we can have confidence in judgment>Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). The apostle John here is not talking of sinless perfection, but rather mature love marked by confidence in the face of judgment. And because Jesus was God’s Son in whom He was well pleased on earth; (Matthew 17:5) and we are in Christ, so God the Father sees us as liken to His beloved Son. What I see that’s crept into the church is this sort of behavior. Trying to keep the law condemns us, for true law deals with inward attitudes. Those who still are struggling with the thought, “I can only make it to heaven by achieving a certain level of goodness,” But what is the standard? What does God require from us? “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The standard for the person who wants to be right with God is nothing short of absolute perfection—not meticulously trying to weigh out every good deed, so it will weigh more than every bad deed. Even being sincere isn’t enough. Clearly those who believe they can earn eternal life by their good works have a distorted understanding of the holiness of God and what it means to be right with God.

Forgiveness—In the parable of the two debtors, Jesus points out a very genuine starting ground for us all to learn from, While in the house of a Pharisee named Simon, whose own opinion and thoughts were superior to that of others, especially of this woman from the city who was a sinner who stood behind Jesus, and began to wash His feet with her tears. Then wiped them with the hair of her head; then she kissed His feet and anointed them with fragrant oil (Luke 7:36-38). Now when the Pharisee spoke within himself said, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what of manner woman this is who was touching Him, for she is a sinner” (Luke 7:39). Jesus knew Simon’s thoughts. His thinking was that this woman who was so convicted of her sins and knowing Jesus came to bring us out of our bondage to sin, saw Him as her Messiah, and would let nothing stop her from showing her love for Him in all humility and gratitude. But all Simon saw was by her touching Jesus, He should know that this would make Him ceremonial unclean. Again neglecting the weightier matters of the law of love and mercy. Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged” (Luke 7:40-43). We are all in the place of not ever having enough righteousness in us to ever repay a holy God. Our sin debt is what has separated us from God and the kind of fellowship and covenant relationship He desires for us.  Isaiah the prophet spoke, You remember him who rejoices and does righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways, You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—In these ways we continue; and we need to be saved. But we are like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away (Isaiah 64:5-6). This is truly what our best is like when we come to God without Christ. Doesn’t it make sense to accept His invitation to come to Him, Jesus Christ and be saved?

Beloved friend, The psalmist wrote, Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises (Psalm 98:4), The idea is that of an eruption of praise which could not be contained. I find that to be what I want in my life. My heart filled with Praise, and worship and love for God, and His Beloved Son, Christ Jesus, our King. Our soon coming King who will brings us back with Him to the place He has prepared for us (John 14:2-3). He will return for us, His bride, but will also bring His judgment to the earth as well. For all those who stubbornly insist on establishing their own righteousness. These will find a horrible end to their script in this life, because of their own prideful unrepentant heart. Let us go forth this day and rejoice in our salvation, and Spirit led good works that brings all glory and honor to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And because we are found in Him, we are accepted by God. Praise our King of kings, and Lord of lords! Hallelujah!

May the Lord bless your walk with Him!




Author: rontrujillo

Married 37 years We have six children. All of whom are adult. Three are married one of them blessed us with three beautiful grandchildren. Retired Firefighter @ Boeing Aircraft 37 years (Formally McDonnell Douglas) Born Again Summer of 1981

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