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  1. #1
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    Matthew 23:14

    ''Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater condemnation.'' (KJV)

    What did Jesus mean when he said they devoured widows' houses? My first thought was that they were exploiting them and taking all their substance (money etc.). Perhaps someone could shed some light if my interpretation is off.
    Now, God be praised, that to believing souls gives light in darkness, comfort in despair.- William Shakespeare

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    Hi Philosopher:
    Matthew 23:14, says: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses"

    Interestingly this verse is not in all Greek manuscripts of Matthew. It may have been added because of Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47, which talk about the same subjects Jesus spoke about. So clearly Jesus did make this statement. The general consensus of opinion as to what this means is; as these were widows, the house and land which was left to them when their husband died would have took considerable effort to manage back in those days. There was no machinery, it was hard graft, especially for an old woman. So Pharisees took advantage of these vulnerable old women, they offered to take over the running of their land and give the old women a percentage of the profits. However, they used their religion as a cloak of benevolence to rob them. They did not honor their word and if these old women started going senile, they could find themselves handing over their land and home to these greedy wicked religious leaders.

    Yet, despite being nothing better than greedy common criminal, Matthew 23:14, continues saying: "and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation." By their long prayers they put on the appearance of holiness and where able to induced many vulnerable women to give them control of their estates. Its hard to believe the average person on the street back them would not have known about this, gossip traveled very quickly in those days, as it does today, yet they were still respected by the mass majority, which just shows the poor spiritual condition of the people back then.

    Even more sad, now and again you can read in the news papers of religious leaders who get arrested and have been doing something very similar today!

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  4. #3
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    Hi Davy, much appreciated for this response. It put things into context of the time. In a way, we can parallel it to the wolves in sheep clothing of today, who take large tithes responsible for the church, and than spend a ton building a gigantic mansion to live in.
    Now, God be praised, that to believing souls gives light in darkness, comfort in despair.- William Shakespeare

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    good.

    Ya, we sometimes have to get a understanding of the times Jesus lived in to be able to apply the Word for today. It does apply though.
    philosopher
    It put things into context of the time. In a way, we can parallel it to the wolves in sheep clothing of today, who take large tithes responsible for the church, and than spend a ton building a gigantic mansion to live in.
    Let me ask a few Questions Brother.........

    1) The Man of God, doing the most important thing on earth in getting the Word across the Globe is less deserving of nice things than Hue at the Playboy mansion?

    2) If a man of God has a board of directors, and only takes a percent (10% to priest in the bible) and that adds up to a couple million a year with all that comes in though it be a small percent, is that wrong?

    3) Are you saying that the Wealth of the sinner needs to stay in the sinners hands, and it's not laid up for us. Did God create all the wealth on the planet for the devil and his crowd?

    4) Gold is the standard for most all currency. When the dollar drops in value because we print more than we have Gold to back, the price of Gold goes up.
    Being blessed with faithful Abraham and heirs according to the promise, being the seed of Abraham, are we to refuse Gold, or any other wealth?

    Gen 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

    5) Is a multi million dollar home to expensive? Who decides what point is to much money? Our father in heaven lives on streets made of Gold, so pure it's translucent. Just 100 ounces of that gold and we are set up for a long time. Certainly our own father would think a few hundred million to be pocket change.
    Who sets the price bar of what is to expensive and nice for God's own children?

    Looking up Gold and wealth in the Word I see lots of evil done with it, I also see David bringing in what would be billions today for Solomon to build the Lord's temple.

    Is not wealth better in our hands?

    Jesus Is Lord.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mike View Post

    The Man of God, doing the most important thing on earth in getting the Word across the Globe is less deserving of nice things than Hue at the Playboy mansion?
    Hi Brother Mike,

    I know your questions we're directed at Philosopher, so forgive me if I am "jumping in here" amiss. It's just that I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "deserving". If deserving is taken to mean "a right", I would disagree with that. Does God respond to us with gifts because we expect Him to, because we did something for Him? As if He somehow owes us?

    I'm sure that's not what you're saying and it's a matter of semantics, so please help me understand the context of your statement. I have no problem with Christians being well-off, it's just the word "deserving" that I'm having a problem with. To me that word equates to boasting : "I have the right to this because I have done so many good things for the Lord". Cheers!
    The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior;

  7. #6
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    Deserving:

    PeaceKeeper:
    I'm sure that's not what you're saying and it's a matter of semantics, so please help me understand the context of your statement. I have no problem with Christians being well-off, it's just the word "deserving" that I'm having a problem with. To me that word equates to boasting : "I have the right to this because I have done so many good things for the Lord". Cheers!
    Thank you Brother...... Jesus said.


    Luk 17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
    Luk 17:8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
    Luk 17:9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. (KJV- I think not)
    Luk 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

    Certainly everything we do gets rewarded. Seed time and harvest, God does not forget our labor's.

    Gal 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

    We are told to pay our ministers well.

    1Ti 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
    1Ti 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

    GNB:
    1Ti 5:17 The elders who do good work as leaders should be considered worthy of receiving double pay, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.
    1Ti 5:18 For the scripture says, "Do not muzzle an ox when you are using it to thresh grain" and "Workers should be given their pay."

    Heb 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

    As Children of God, Jesus said we as Christians have things to do that are just expected of us. Where is the reward or special treatment for doing the things we are expected to do anyway? We should not have this "DESERVING" attitude.

    When I made that statement, I was saying that someone that spreads the gospel if far more worthy of, money, honor, and respect than someone running the Playboy mansion, or even being a Doctor or lawyer. What we find the most valuable is where we put our money, prayer, and efforts into.

    I would rather see a Pastor going to preach in another place riding in his own Jet, being well rested without the hassle of the airports, having time to focus on prayer and the things of God a private jet would give him, than to see a top Exec for Jack Danials fly to a meeting in comfort to discuss better distribution of Whiskey.

    Certainly A Pastor of the Lord should expect nothing Feel as he deserves anything, and appreciate everything that comes his way.

    Jesus Is Lord.

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    Hi Mike:

    I was just wondering, why does anyone need to live in multi-million dollar houses, with 4 vehicles, and a plethora of different ''toys''? Especially when large portions of the world population is just barely getting their water to drink, and a good meal itself, can be a luxury. Does it reflect Christian humility to be living in excess - or gluttonous I believe is the official term. Now, I never meant to say that anyone who is rich is a wolf in sheeps clothing, but some pastors have exploited their position of power, to take advantage of this.

    Jesus' own words: ''And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. - Matthew 19:24
    Last edited by philosopher; 03-22-12 at 10:56 PM.
    Now, God be praised, that to believing souls gives light in darkness, comfort in despair.- William Shakespeare

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  10. #8
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    Wealth in perspective.

    Deu 8:17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
    Deu 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.


    Thank you Brother for your thoughts. Now read the above a few times........

    I God give you power to get Wealth. Why?

    To Watch a larger TV that covers the whole wall all day?
    To fish on your nice multi million dollar boat day in and day out?

    What could we possibly need with all that Wealth?

    Pro 13:22
    A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

    All the wealth in the World that sinners have to do evil, and spend on fleshly wants and desire. Who did God say it belongs to?


    Jesus' own words: ''And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. -
    Ah, good point brother, but did you read the rest of the story?
    The Kingdom of God is God's operation of things, its faith in trusting God, and not the arm of man. This cost king Asa his life, he trusted in his wealth to get out of a bad situation, and did not go to God, He also did not ask God about his feet which ended up killing him but went to his doctors.

    Jesus told the Rich young ruler you lack one thing, go sell all you have, follow me. This possibly could have been Judas replacement, He could have been written about more, but he walked away not wanting to part with his wealth.

    How hard it is for a rich man to enter into the things and operation of God. (Kingdom of God) Jesus said.

    Jesus was not trying to make him broke. He was trying to get the man to operate the Kingdom.

    What operation? Give and it shall be given..... God is not mocked, you shall reap what you sow. Your seed shall be multiplied. Cast your bread on many waters and it shall return.

    The man did not take the time to even listen to the rest of what Jesus said.

    Mar 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    Mar 10:26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

    Whats the problem here? The bible says they were astonished out of measure. This is pure shock. They heard the rich young ruler ask about eternal life, Jesus being Jesus talked about what he wanted to teach. He often did that.

    Jesus continues...............

    Mar 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

    Seems like Jesus is way off the subject here. With man it's impossible, with God, all things are possible. Jesus is still talking about that rich young ruler. Remember it said that Jesus loved him.

    So Like normal Peter interrupts.

    Mar 10:28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

    They did leave all, but they were not broke. Judas carried the money bag, they handed out money to the poor all the time. This concerned Peter.

    Jesus continues........... still on the same subject about that rich young ruler selling all and giving to the poor.

    Mar 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,

    There is no man Jesus said that has left everything for the sake of the gospel. That is what Jesus was Asking the rich young ruler to do. Leave it all, follow him.

    Mar 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

    Now had the rich young ruler obeyed, He would have gotten 100 times back what he gave. In man's system of hording money, and trying to meet his own needs it's impossible to multiply wealth like that. Even banks only give about 5% if your lucky.

    With God 100 fold back is not impossible. Its the Kingdom of God in operation. Jesus was kind enough to add that Peter will get Eternal life also, answering his question.

    So, if someone obeys God, puts God first in their wealth, and God increased them more and more, why can't they have that nice house?

    See judgement is wrong, we don't know what obedience they have kept before the Lord, we don't know what they have sacrificed. Not saying all are good, some are crooks, and they will be judged, but not by us.

    As for the poor?

    Job 36:11 If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.

    That sound like anyone needs to be poor?


    Isa 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

    Money won't corrupt you if you will obey and serve God, putting him first in everything in your life. God is not hung up on handing you millions. Just means more he can direct into the salvation of the lost. Campaign for the right people to have control, feed many.

    We can do none of that broke.

    Pro 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

    Pro 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.


    Think about it brother.....

    Jesus Is Lord.

  11. #9
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    Thanks Mike, you have certainly given me some food for thought here. I still don't quite think it's necessary for anyone to be living in extreme luxury, but the Bible does seem to teach prosperity for the obedient.

    God bless you.
    Now, God be praised, that to believing souls gives light in darkness, comfort in despair.- William Shakespeare

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mike View Post
    PeaceKeeper:
    Thank you Brother...... Jesus said.


    Luk 17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
    Luk 17:8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
    Luk 17:9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. (KJV- I think not)
    Luk 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do[COLOR=DarkRed][B].






    Jesus Is Lord.
    What is the point you were trying to make here with this scripture Mike? I think I missed it.
    Religion is an ugly tyrant.

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