5 Is this the kind of fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it only to bow down his head like a bulrush [reed], and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him [to lie on]? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
|Matthew 23:1-8 |
1 Then spoke Jesus to the multitude and to his disciples,
2 Saying "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.
3 Therefore, do whatever they command you, but do not imitate their works; for they talk of what is required, but they fail to practice what they preach. [This is hypocrisy, the yeast of the Pharisees, which has leavened the whole lump of Christianity that loudly boasts its religion but walks in continual sin, even without shame. From the word of the Lord within: "The hypocrite may talk of faith and do evil. If you are still sinning, you belong to sin and not to Me. Remember, every person who sins denies Him as Lord and Master. By their evident display of sin, Christians cause my name to be blasphemed among the people." When a person talks about religion but displays sin, that causes his listeners to discount everything he says; and so he scatters.]
4 For they bind heavy burdens which are grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not lift one of their little fingers to help them.
5 They do all their works to be seen by men. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels on their garments. [Many wear robes to look holy. The Catholics even wear strange looking hats with their robes. Some wear large crosses around their necks. Others only dress up in their finest clothes. All is done to make an impression on men, appearing holy.]
6 They love the uppermost rooms at feasts and the most important seats in the synagogues, [They sit up on the stage, they stand in an elevated pulpit. It's all part of the theater, but does not fit with proper worship.]
7 They love to be greeted in the markets and to be called by men, 'Rabbi' [or teacher, master, Reverend, Father, Pastor, Doctor].
8 But do not be called 'Rabbi' [teacher]; for you have one teacher,1 and you are all brothers.