Beatitudes Vs. Woes
During the travels of Jesus, He went up on a mountain to teach His disciples one day. (He gave them the beatitudes). Then the crowds gathered around and Jesus saw them. He began speaking to the crowds as well as the disciples. Here we are going to compare the teachings of the beatitudes (the blessed), to the woes of (the Pharisees). The Pharisees were the teachers of the religious law. Christ's message of the beatitudes was mainly to the disciples, the humble, the lost, and the sinner. His message of the woes was mainly to the hypocritical religious leaders. (For every positive there is a negative). "Jesus begins to teach."
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3). God blesses the poor in spirit (those who may not have all the truth), but realize their need for Him. "Those who put their trust in Jesus." (Psalm 84:12). He chooses the poor of this world who are rich in faith. (James 2:5). Those who are not rapped up in the ways of the world. The Kingdom of Heaven will be theirs. (Luke 6:20).
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:13). These self righteous hypocrites close the Kingdom of Heaven to others as they pretend to be holy. False teachings and traditions of men will never open the kingdom of heaven to anyone.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4). Those going through tough times will be comforted. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (2 Corinthians 1:3). "The comforter is the Holy Spirit." (John 14:16). Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (2 Corinthians 1:4). God helps us through our trouble times and gives us comfort so that we may comfort others with the same troubles. (1 Thessalonians 4:18, 5:11). For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:5). The more we suffer standing for the faith, the more our Heavenly Father comforts us in our time of trouble.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. (Matthew 23:14). They hold long public prayers in the streets looking so holy (Praying in public to impress others), while they evict widows from their homes. (They prey on the weak). These are just plain hypocrites who will receive the greater damnation. No comfort for them!
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5). Speaking of those who humble themselves towards others. The world teaches us pride, self interest, love of money, compete to get ahead, step on others and claw your way to the top. Just the opposite of one who is kind and meek, or puts others before themselves. "Its the meek who will be lifted up, and the wicked brought down to the ground." (Psalm 147:6).
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (Matthew 23:15). They surround the earth and go to all lengths to make one convert. Then turn that convert to twice the "son of hell" than they are themselves through false teachings. (Teaching them to follow doctrines of men instead of Gods). Sound familiar?
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6). Those who have a strong desire for truth and righteousness. Not traditions of men and false teachings. "Those thirsting for truth." (John 4:14, 7:37).
Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! (Matthew 23:16). When the hypocrite swears by God's temple, it means nothing, they can break that oath. But to swear by the gold in the temple is binding. "All about the money." (Did you ever notice that in most churches today, that those who give the most money get the most attention). "No thirsting for righteous truth, but rather for satisfaction in their wealth."
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7). Those who are compassionate towards others. Can you feel another's needs? Can you understand where they are coming from? Show mercy towards others and when the time comes, mercy will be shown to you.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Matthew 23:23). These religious leaders worry so much about the tithing, they forget the law and teaching of God's Word. They have no real faith, or mercy on the needy. (God will show them no mercy in the time of judgment).
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8). Those who are pure in their mind. "Only then will you see God." (Clearing the mind of all things that are against the will of God).
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. (Matthew 23:25). You religious leaders make everything look so good and holy from the outside, but corruption goes on inside. (Entertaining in their mind the things against the will of God).
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9). Those who strive for peace and peace of mind in this troubled world. (Colossians 3:13, Psalm 133:1).
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. (Matthew 23:27). The religious leaders are like beautiful mausoleums full of dead men's bones. They look so sanctified and religious, but are full of corruption. (They do not strive for peace and will never have peace of mind).
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10). Many were persecuted for taking a stand for Jesus and teaching His message. Never worry if you stand for Christ and teach the truth of His Word, God will take care of you. (1 Peter 3:13-14, Revelation 2:10).
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous. (Matthew 23:29). The hypocrite religious leaders built monuments to the prophets that were persecuted and killed by their fathers, so they look so holy. (God will take care of them also).
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (Matthew 5:11). When you teach the truth of God's Word, you will be talked about and falsely accused. People will look for every fault they can against you. The sad part is that most of this will come from your friends and family.
Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: (Matthew 23:34). You religious hypocrites crucified and killed the prophets in the past. I will send more wise men and teachers and you will kill some of them also. Others you will persecute and chase away. (Just like many churches and people today who ridicule real teachers of the Word). Do not be deceived!
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