Question #28 comes from Matthew 23: 16-22
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.”
This sermon was the last of Jesus’ before heading to the cross and instead of zeroing in on the salvation of those who are sinners and need help… the ones Jesus came for, He seems to be pointing at the people who claim to know the law.. getting them in order.
Sometimes it may seem like from the pulpit the pastor points the finger at those in the pews neglecting the fact that maybe the finger should be pointed at he or she in some cases…
Jesus is talking about priorities.. Ever heard someone say: “I swear before God” well, that was a form of making God most important and them a truth teller, only problem is most time people used that statement they were taking the Lord’s name in vain and sometimes even not even telling the truth.
In Jesus’ day they had made a habit of swearing by things in the temple not realizing that the temple itself was more important than the things in it.. Ever heard someone who just really paid close attention to the organs inside of their body totally forgetting about the body itself.. Forgetting that if there is no body the organs would be of no value at all.. Jesus was making this exact point.. You can’t swear by the gold in the temple as to make it more important than the temple, the gifts on the altar as to make them more important than the altar, food or clothes for your body rather than your body itself . If the church is ever going to go anywhere we have to realize the devil we are fighting is not the lipstick we wear or the way we are wearing our hairs, it is not how long our skirts are or the places we go in particular but the weightier more important thing is our hearts, our motives and our actions whether they leave others to or away from God for He who saves souls is wise ..
“for life is more than food, and the body more than clothes”