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Text Sermons : Zac Poonen : Pharisees neglect their family responsibilities in the name of religion

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"Why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, 'Honor your father and mother'....ut you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God," he is not to honor his father or his mother'" (Matthew 15:1-9).

The Pharisees invalidated God's commandment to honour parents by saying that a person need not support his needy parents if he had given his money in the temple treasury box. Let the poor father be sick and die, because his "holy" son has given his money for missionary work!!

A modern-day equivalent would be something like this: The Pharisee would say to his wife, "I have to go for the church-meeting this evening. So I cannot help you with the work at home." Or he could be sitting with his Bible in the morning studying the tabernacle (in Exodus 25), asking God to speak to him, while his wife is struggling to get the children ready for school, preparing breakfast for them, and looking after a crying baby. The Lord will be trying to tell this Pharisee, "Shut your Bible, forget about your 'tabernacle-study' and go help your wife in the kitchen"! But he cannot hear God, because his Pharisaical ears have become deaf to God's voice.

A major part of our being spiritual is to take responsibility for any work that needs to be done at home. "If a man does not care for his family needs, he is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Timothy 5:8).

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