by Robert Brooks
“Think not that I am come to bring peace. . .but a sword.” Mt. 10: 34
“I am come to send fire on the earth: and what will I if it be already kindled?”
Luke 12: 49
I. The Great Divider
Even of families – Mt. 10: 35 – 37
Even more piercingly – Luke 14: 26
Hatred meaning a hyperbole to express only strong preference of one another, not hatred in the modern sense of the word.
These verses mean family members would be violently divided over loyalty to Christ. One can point out the usual violent opposition of a Jewish-Gentile marriage! People are either for or against Christ. There is no neutral ground. Jesus said, “I am the way. . .no man cometh to the Father but by me.”
II. Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild – and the Pharisees!
“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. 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. 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. 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! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, 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. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 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. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous. And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23: 13 – 33)
Jesus, “Gentle Jesus,” called them sons of snakes, and He point blank asked them how they would escape the damnation of hell. “Meek and mild?” He said their “converts” were made “twofold more the child of hell.” (Mt. 23: 15)
III. Woe unto Chorazine and Bethsaida, Tyre and Sidon and Capernaum.
Capernaum being brought down to Hell and being compared to Sodum.
(Mt. 11: 21 – 23)
IV. Warning Against Offending Little Children Who Believe in Him!
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Mt. 18: 5 – 6)
V. Woe Unto the World!
“Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” (Mt. 18: 7)
VI. “Gentle” Jesus Cleanses the Temple.
I believe there were two temple cleansings, but we will stress John’s account.
John said Jesus made a cord or whip and He took it and drove out the exploiters, overturning their money tables, and He drove the animals out!
Raymond E. Brown, the world famous scholar on John, speculates the cord was probably fashioned from rushes used for the bedding for the animals.
Jesus could be tough! He said you must repent and take up a cross to follow Him. Deny ego!
Jesus is gentle and kind to the needy, to those who come to Him.