July 27, 2014

Woe To You – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ “You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? (Matthew 23:16-17)

In this chapter Jesus addresses the crowds and His disciples and pronounces eight “Woes,” harsh, severe condemnations. The actual word used by Jesus was “ούαί” The Greek lexicon BDAG, defines the term:

“1. interjection denoting pain or displeasure, woe, alas…”

This ominous threat from Jesus was expressed in a way that will sound somewhat familiar to people from Arkansas. It is pronounced “oo-ah-ee!” A chant of “wooo pig sooie” is known statewide as a hog call, used as a football cheer, seen on t-shirts and hats throughout Arkansas. However, unlike the encouraging shout for sporting events, the dire warning from Jesus was eternally serious. Can you imagine this series of eight stern admonitions delivered to the faces of these self-righteous manipulators of truth? The true Messiah cries out, “Oo-ah-ee…

you scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees, hypocrites!” It certainly would have arrested the attention of everyone.

The blindness that Jesus was condemning has both a practical and spiritual impact. Obviously, if one does not understand simple truth, the result is going to be either embarrassing or painful. Jesus said,

“Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

The great Creator of the universe knows best how to guide His creation. As is the case from the manufacturer of hi-tech machinery, instructions are provided. If we do not know or understand the Creator’s directions, we are bound to get into trouble. That “truth blindness” often results in “… blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” (Matthew 23:24)

But the greater blindness is spiritual. Peter listed attributes on how to grow in faith and gain assurance. Then he advised,

For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. (II Peter 1:9)

In His messages to the seven churches, Jesus warned Laodicea,

“Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,” (Revelation 3:17)

His counsel:

“I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.” (Revelation 3:18)

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