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7. The Fifth Woe
(Matthew 23:23-24)
23“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law; justice and mercy and faith. Theses you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.24Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! (Leviticus27:30, Micah6:8, Luke18:12)

We cling to money, property, and wealth as security. We also want to secure our place in heaven, therefore we sacrifice our treasures and feel good about it in our hearts. We try, of our own accord, to sacrifice and pay the cost of our salvation with money and power.
The Pharisees were obsessed with establishing righteousness built on their own deeds. Because of that, they religiously tithed everything, including their spices. They did this as a trade for God's justification, as if He were a merchant.
Yet Christ did not ask us just to pay the tithe, but guided us to fulfill righteousness, practice mercy, and continue in faith. The sacrificing faith out of love is an accepted devotion to God. Whoever pays only the tithe follows the Law of Moses. Whoever sacrifices himself, his time, and his money follows Christ and His Spirit.
Jesus called the self-righteous jurists "blind" with respect to reality and righteousness. They neither saw nor knew the real way to God. Yet, they claimed that they were the guides leading people to heaven. But they emphasized the little things, while ignoring important duties. Christ used the remarkable parable of Luke to show his listeners that while the jurists of his time were strict in the details of the law, they neglected the most important commandments, such as; love of God, sincere repentance, serving the needy and weak, renewing themselves, and accepting Christ with praise and thankfulness. They forced their nation to perform burdensome duties, but were neglecting forgiveness by grace and salvation through the love of God. They didn't acknowledge serious sins like hypocrisy, adultery, pride, greed, false swearing, casual divorce, and revenge. This is why Christ describes them as hypocrites and blind guides.
It is good to examine ourselves so we can perceive our sins the way that God sees them. When we are quick to take an interest in the faults of others but minimize our own sins, are we not blind and proud hypocrites?

Lord Jesus Christ, we thank You that You exposed the legalists and ungodly, and revealed them as they really were. Forgive us if we are blind to our own sins, like them. We ask You, Lord, to reveal every hypocrisy hidden in us. Make us humble before Your holiness that we may perceive Your great love. We pray for all the seekers of truth in our nation that they may open their hearts to see themselves as You see them, and accept Christ as their Savior with his free salvation.
Why do we find many godly people and teachers blind to their own condition?