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A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture by Frederick Justus Knecht D.D.

[Mat. 23:13–39. Mark 12:41–44]

JESUS, filled with indignation at the hard-heartedness and hypocrisy of the Pharisees, once more, on the eve of His Passion and Death, warned the people against them and pronounced divers woes upon their head. “But woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter in, and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter. Woe to you, because you go round about the sea and the land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him the child of hell twofold more than yourselves. Woe to you, because you tithe mint and anise and cummin and have left the weightier things of the law, judgment and mercy and faith. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! You make clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within you are full of rapine and uncleanness. You are like to whited sepulchres which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men’s bones and of all filthiness. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. You serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of hell?”

While Jesus remained in the Temple, He saw many making their offerings, and He noticed the way in which each one made the offering. Several rich persons put much into the treasury, but one poor widow put in two mites. Then Jesus called His disciples and said to them: “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow hath cast in more than all they who have cast into the treasury; for they all did cast in of their abundance; but she, of her want, has cast in all she. had, even her whole living.”

The most important Duties. Our Saviour says that the most important duties are those of justice, mercy and faith. External religion must be the expression and practical exercise of internal religion, which consists in the spirit of justice and mercy and faith.

Hypocrisy. The wish to appear religious and God-fearing before men, while your heart is full of ungodly sentiments, is hypocrisy. This is a great sin, forbidden by the eighth commandment.

Good Intention. From the words of our Lord spoken in praise of the poor widow, we learn that in our good works everything depends upon the intention. The widow had given more than all the rich; for she parted with her whole fortune. She intended to give all she had to God. This was an act of perfect love and sacrifice.

APPLICATION. Are you sincere in all your religious practices? In your confession, do you look more to what is in your heart, than outside it? Do you always make a good intention and often say: “All for the greater glory of God”?








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