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gospel Preaching Uncategorized

Woe to you Padres and Chaplains…

Matthew 23:1–36 (NMV – Nathan’s Modified Version)

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, ‘The Padres and Chaplains sit in Christ’s office so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they claim to preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders they do not like, but they themselves are not willing to move the burdens with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others and particularly by those of rank and influence. They make their actions known and their preaching scarves long. They love the place of honour at mess dinners, the best seats at ceremonies, greetings in the workplace and being called ‘Sir’ or ‘Father’ by others…Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called Sir, for you have one superior: Christ! The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

But woe to you, Padres and Chaplains, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.

Woe to you, Padres and Chaplains, hypocrites! For you travel across sea, land or air to make a single proselyte who will justify and affirm your disobedience and rebellion, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves…

Woe to you, Padres and Chaplains, hypocrites! For you spend much time on welfare, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law and gospel: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. This you ought to have done, without neglecting the former. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

Woe to you, Padres and Chaplains, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside you are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Padres and Chaplains! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

Woe to you, Padres and Chaplains, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Woe to you, Padres and Chaplains, hypocrites! For you pay lip service to the prophets and pretend to admire the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets, wise men, scribes and Bible believing Padres and Chaplains, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog, disparage and undermine with your mouths and persecute from base to base, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel and…to my own blood split on the cross…

By Nathan L Runham

A Presbyterian minister, husband, father, and perpetual student of the Bible and its theology.

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