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THE HOLIEST                      Commentaries on St. Matthew


Tablet Thirty-Three

Chapter 23

"Then spake
Esa to the multitude, and to his disciples,"

"Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:"

"All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." (Matthew 23:1-3)

<1>After he established the supremacy of his teachings and actions over those of the Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees, and silenced them, now he started his direct attack and his last part of the mission to show their hypocrisy. He did not speak in parables any longer but in plain language. <2>This would do the last hurting to the false egos of the priests, elders, and spiritual teachers of the people, and would make them more zealous to plot against him. Although he said the truth, they did not want to hear it.

<3>He was trying to show that it is not the teachings of Moses which are bad or should not be followed, but it is the actions of their leaders which had corrupted Moses' teachings and laws. <4>That is why what they said, which is what Moses taught, "sit in Moses' seat," is good for a person and his spirit. But they themselves did not follow what Moses taught, "for they say, and do not."

<5>Again this shows that Christ did not come to do away with God's Commandments and Laws. But as described before in the main part of these commentaries, his mission was something else and he fulfilled it. One was to end the lawgiving by the House of Judah.

"For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers." (Matthew 23:4)

<6>By using Moses' teachings and by creating a class distinction for themselves, they misused their position and became a burden on people. <7>In truth they should have been a blessing but because of their lower natures they did not have true spiritual understanding and Grace. So they used their power to satisfy the propensities of their lower selves (survival needs, dominating need, longing for false prestige, etc.).

"But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments," (Matthew 23:5)

<8>They do all things in the faith for show, to catch the eyes of men, and to establish distinction for themselves.

"And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,"

"And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi." (Matthew 23:6-7)

<9>These all are done to be glorified by men. Indeed they receive their reward from men but not from God.

"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even
Christ; and all ye are brethren." (Matthew 23:8)

<10>Only those who reach Pure Consciousness, the sons of God and the First Begotten Son (Christ) are worthy to be Masters. All others are struggling fellow travelers in the path, "all ye are brethren."

"And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your
Father, which is in heaven." (Matthew 23:9)

<11>The earthly parents are only tools, but the actual creator of our bodies is the Father in heaven (God). So He is the Father of all. <12>However this does not mean we should disregard our earthly parents. On the contrary, they are the most respectful and honorable beings after God and our spiritual teachers.

"Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even
Christ." (Matthew 23:10)

<13>Only those who are in Christ Consciousness (Divine) can be called "Master."

"But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant."

"And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." (Matthew 23:11-12)

<14>That is the Law in heaven. Those who think they are great and falsely exalt themselves will be humbled. But those who know the power of God and know He is the true doer through them and even their greatness is from Him, will humble themselves and be exalted by Him. They exalt the Father, so they will be exalted.

"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)

<15>The Pharisees and scribes will not enter into the Kingdom Of Heaven (Pure Consciousness) because they love the world more than heaven. Also they do not let those who are ready, "them that are entering" to go in by keeping the mass in ignorance and binding them with superstitions and false doctrines. <16>In fact Esa here is describing what are called the intellectual spiritualists, those who try to explain the Scriptures without intuitional feeling and contact with the Universal Mind. Then intentionally (because of their lack of faith) or unintentionally (because of their lack of depth), they create doctrines or interpret the Scriptures in a way that binds man more than frees him.

<17>The goal of creation is to free man from bondage, and the reason for Prophets and the words God revealed through them was (and is) to show man the path to this freedom. But we can see that because of these intellectual spiritualists (scribes and Pharisees) the religions have become a source of suffering and bondage to man. That is why neither those intellectual spiritualists enter into heaven themselves nor suffer those who want to know the truth and enter it to do so.

"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)

<18>But woe to these ignorant and false teachers who intentionally use religions and beliefs to gain mundane material things or to satisfy their lower natures.

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)

<19>They convert people to a belief which had lost the original truth. So they make the person "twofold more the child of hell."

"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?" (Matthew 23:16-19)

<20>When the mind becomes materialistic and gross (crude), it no longer has the keenness to see these simple truths.

"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." (Matthew 23:20-21)

<21>After sanctifying the gift, the temple sanctifies the altar, and all of them are sanctified because of God who dwells in everything. <22>That is why there is a Divine side in everything when looked at through its Darma, "by him that dwelleth therein."


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