Post By Brandi Hignight
Okay that is my M.O. and if you know me you are shaking your head because you know it’s true.
But I’m not alone.
Jesus said this of the experts in the law and the Pharisees:
“They do all their deeds to be seen by people, for they make their phylacteries wide and their tassels long.”
Okay, phylacteries were small leather cases containing Old Testament scripture verses, worn on the arm and forehead by Jews, especially when praying. The custom was derived from such passages as Exodus 13:9; 16; Deu 6:8; 11:18.
In a nutshell, the verses reminded the people to remember God’s faithfulness and His might in rescuing them from slavery in Egypt. How can we do that wrong?!
And for the record Jesus wore tassels (Matthew 9:20).
But to take the command literally baffled my mind and that was the direction I was gonna go with this piece. But upon further inspection…
Some Jews understand these verses literally other Jews metaphorically.
And more importantly, Jesus isn’t even talking about the wearing of phylacteries. He is talking about their heart. Their ambition. Their treasure.
The verses in the phylacteries pointed to God, giving Him rightful glory, but somehow we can make even this about us. So the Pharisees wore huge oversized billboards on their heads and arms to remind them to trust the trustworthy Lord, but they did it to be seen by others. That’s pretty twisted! But don’t worry, they were consistently giving, praying, fasting, ALL their deeds to be seen by people. And they got their reward.
It was the being seen.
Oh what a small, piddly reward it was–and still is today.
“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”