Neno: Bibilia Takatifu

Matayo 23

Yesu Awashutumu Walimu Wa Sheria Na Mafarisayo

1Kisha Yesu akawaambia ule umati wa watu pamoja na wana funzi wake: “Walimu wa sheria na Mafarisayo wamechukua nafasi ya Musa, kwa hiyo watiini na kufanya yote wanayowaambia mfa nye. Lakini msifuate matendo yao; kwa sababu hawatendi yale wanayohubiri. Wao hufunga mizigo mikubwa na kuwabebesha watu, lakini wao wenyewe hawajaribu hata kunyoosha kidole kuisogeza!

“Wao hufanya mambo yao yote ili waonekane na watu. Wanavaa vipande vipana vya ngozi vilivyoandikwa sheria na kurefusha zaidi pindo za mavazi yao ya sala. Wanapenda kukaa viti vya wageni wa heshima karamuni na viti vya mbele katika masinagogi. Hupenda kuamkiwa masokoni na kuitwa ‘Rabi.’

“Lakini ninyi msipende kuitwa ‘Rabi’ kwa sababu mnaye rabi mmoja, na ninyi nyote ni ndugu. Na msimwite mtu ye yote hapa duniani ‘baba’ kwa maana mnaye Baba mmoja, naye yuko mbinguni. 10 Hali kadhalika msipende kuitwa ‘mabwana’ kwa maana mnaye Bwana mmoja tu, yaani Kristo. 11 Aliye mkuu kuliko ninyi nyote atakuwa mtumishi wenu. 12 Ye yote anayejikuza atashushwa; na ye yote anayejinyenyekeza atainuliwa.

13 “Lakini ole wenu walimu wa sheria na Mafarisayo, ninyi wanafiki! Kwa maana mnafungia watu milango ya Ufalme wa mbinguni. Ninyi wenyewe hamuingii humo, wala hamruhusu wale ambao wange penda kuingia waingie. [

14 “Ole wenu walimu wa sheria na Mafarisayo, ninyi wana fiki! Mnadhulumu nyumba za wajane, na kwa kujionyesha kuwa wema, mnasali sala ndefu. Kwa hiyo adhabu yenu itakuwa kubwa zaidi.”]

15 “Ole wenu walimu wa sheria na Mafarisayo, ninyi wana fiki! Mnasafiri baharini na nchi kavu ili kumfanya mtu mmoja awe mfuasi wa dini yenu, lakini baada ya kumpata, mnamfanya astahili kwenda Jehena mara mbili zaidi yenu!

16 “Ole wenu viongozi vipofu! Ninyi mnasema, ‘Mtu akiapa kwa Hekalu, kiapo hicho si kitu; lakini mtu akiapa kwa dhahabu iliyoko Hekaluni, itambidi atimize kiapo hicho.’ 17 Ninyi vipofu wajinga! Ni kipi kilicho bora zaidi, ni ile dhahabu au ni Hekalu ambalo ndilo linafanya dhahabu hiyo kuwa takatifu? 18 Pia mnasema, ‘Mtu akiapa kwa madhabahu, si kitu, lakini mtu akiapa kwa sadaka iliyoko madhabahuni itambidi atimize kiapo hicho.’ 19 Ninyi vipofu! Ni kipi bora zaidi, sadaka, au madhabahu ambayo ndio inafanya sadaka hiyo kuwa takatifu? 20 Kwa hiyo mtu anayeapa kwa madhabahu, anaapa kwa hiyo madhabahu na vitu vyote vilivyoko juu yake. 21 Na mtu anapoapa kwa Hekalu, anaapa kwa hilo Hekalu na huyo aishie ndani yake. 22 Naye anayeapa kwa mbingu anaapa kwa kiti cha enzi cha Mungu na kwa yeye aketiye juu ya kiti hicho.

23 “Ole wenu walimu wa sheria na Mafarisayo, ninyi wana fiki! Kwa maana mnatoa fungu la kumi la mnanaa, na bizari na jira; lakini mmepuuza mambo makuu zaidi ya sheria: haki, huruma na imani. Haya mlipaswa kuyafanya bila kusahau yale mengine. 24 Ninyi viongozi vipofu, mnachuja nzi lakini mnameza ngamia!

25 “Ole wenu walimu wa sheria na Mafarisayo, ninyi wana fiki! Kwa maana mnasafisha kikombe na sahani kwa nje lakini ndani mmejaa ulafi na unyang’anyi. 26 Ninyi Mafarisayo vipofu! Kwanza safisheni kikombe na sahani kwa ndani, ndipo nje patakuwa safi.

27 “Ole wenu, walimu wa sheria na Mafarisayo, ninyi wana fiki! Mnafanana na makaburi yaliyopakwa chokaa ambayo kwa juu yanaonekana maridadi lakini ndani yamejaa mifupa ya wafu na kila aina ya uchafu. 28 Hali kadhalika, nje ninyi mnaonekana kwa watu kuwa wenye haki, lakini kwa ndani mmejaa unafiki na uovu.

29 “Ole wenu, walimu wa sheria na Mafarisayo, ninyi wana fiki! Mnajenga makaburi ya manabii na kupamba makaburi ya wenye haki 30 mkisema, ‘Kama tungaliishi wakati wa baba zetu tusingel ishiriki katika kuwaua manabii !’ 31 Kwa kusema hivyo mnakiri kwamba ninyi ni wana wa wale waliowaua manabii. 32 Haya basi, kamilisheni hiyo kazi waliyoianza baba zenu! 33 Ninyi nyoka, ninyi kundi la nyoka! Mtaepukaje hukumu ya Jehena? 34 Kwa sababu hiyo nawapelekea manabii na wenye hekima na walimu. Baadhi yao mtawaua na kuwatundika msalabani, wengine mtawapiga mijeledi katika masinagogi yenu na wengine mtawatesa toka mji mmoja hadi mji mwingine. 35 Na kwa hiyo damu ya wote wenye haki ambayo imemwagwa hapa duniani, tangu damu ya Abeli, ambaye alikuwa hana hatia, hadi damu ya Zakaria mwana wa Barakia ambaye mlimwua kati kati ya Patakatifu na madhabahu, itakuwa juu yenu. 36 Nawaambia kweli haya yote yatatokea wakati wa kizazi hiki.”

Yesu Awaonya Watu Wa Yerusalemu

37 “Ninyi watu wa Yerusalemu; mnawaua manabii na kuwapiga mawe wale waliotumwa kwenu! Nilitamani sana kuwakusanya wana wenu kama vile kuku akusanyavyo vifaranga vyake chini ya mbawa zake, lakini hamkutaka! 38 Tazama nyumba yenu imeachwa tupu na ukiwa. 39 Kwa maana nawahakikishia kuwa, hamtaniona tena mpaka siku ile mtakaposema: ‘Amebarikiwa yeye anayekuja kwa jina la Bwana.

The Message

Matthew 23

Religious Fashion Shows

11-3 Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. “The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer.

4-7 “Instead of giving you God’s Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn’t think of lifting a finger to help. Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called ‘Doctor’ and ‘Reverend.’

8-10 “Don’t let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of ‘Father’; you have only one Father, and he’s in heaven. And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.

11-12 “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

Frauds!

13 “I’ve had it with you! You’re hopeless, you religion scholars, you Pharisees! Frauds! Your lives are roadblocks to God’s kingdom. You refuse to enter, and won’t let anyone else in either.

15 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You go halfway around the world to make a convert, but once you get him you make him into a replica of yourselves, double-damned.

16-22 “You’re hopeless! What arrogant stupidity! You say, ‘If someone makes a promise with his fingers crossed, that’s nothing; but if he swears with his hand on the Bible, that’s serious.’ What ignorance! Does the leather on the Bible carry more weight than the skin on your hands? And what about this piece of trivia: ‘If you shake hands on a promise, that’s nothing; but if you raise your hand that God is your witness, that’s serious’? What ridiculous hairsplitting! What difference does it make whether you shake hands or raise hands? A promise is a promise. What difference does it make if you make your promise inside or outside a house of worship? A promise is a promise. God is present, watching and holding you to account regardless.

23-24 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that’s wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?

25-26 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You burnish the surface of your cups and bowls so they sparkle in the sun, while the insides are maggoty with your greed and gluttony. Stupid Pharisee! Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something.

27-28 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh. People look at you and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds.

29-32 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You build granite tombs for your prophets and marble monuments for your saints. And you say that if you had lived in the days of your ancestors, no blood would have been on your hands. You protest too much! You’re cut from the same cloth as those murderers, and daily add to the death count.

33-34 “Snakes! Reptilian sneaks! Do you think you can worm your way out of this? Never have to pay the piper? It’s on account of people like you that I send prophets and wise guides and scholars generation after generation—and generation after generation you treat them like dirt, greeting them with lynch mobs, hounding them with abuse.

35-36 “You can’t squirm out of this: Every drop of righteous blood ever spilled on this earth, beginning with the blood of that good man Abel right down to the blood of Zechariah, Barachiah’s son, whom you murdered at his prayers, is on your head. All this, I’m telling you, is coming down on you, on your generation.

37-39 “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Murderer of prophets! Killer of the ones who brought you God’s news! How often I’ve ached to embrace your children, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you wouldn’t let me. And now you’re so desolate, nothing but a ghost town. What is there left to say? Only this: I’m out of here soon. The next time you see me you’ll say, ‘Oh, God has blessed him! He’s come, bringing God’s rule!’”