Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What is Sacred: Reading Mathew 23:16-26

Reading Matthew 23:16-23 helps us see how we are slack in giving respect for all aspects of God's creation.  While we might not use God's name in vain, we might not speak well of our fellow man.  These are beings created in God's image.  Jesus tells the Pharisees that the have it wrong when they teach that swearing by the Temple brings no obligation, but swearing by its gold does.  Jesus points out parallel teachings they have, where they teach about limits of the Law.  Jesus points out how the sacred has relationships and effects to other things.  We might see that we have not been recognizing the holy and the sacred in our own lives.

Another teaching of Jesus in this section has to do acting to advance justice, mercy, and faithfulness.  Justice is seeking the right.  Mercy acting forgiving, not giving punishment that someone deserves.  Faithfulness is being true to virtue and duty when it is costly to do so.  These are in contrast with the Pharisee practices of greed and self-indulgence.
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