EBible Fellowship Sunday Bible Study – 13-Sep-2009


by Greg Seifert


Today we are going to look in the Bible at some verses that talk about how God’s judgment and God’s salvation, the things that the Bible talks about, are very weighty matters.  They are very, very serious. 

The Bible is an extremely serious book.  There is nothing funny about the Bible.  There is nothing funny about God, and we need to get very serious when we come to the Bible and start thinking about God and thinking about our life and the short time that we have left before Judgment Day.  Sadly though, man, by nature, we all take God very lightly.  We can speak very flippantly about God many times and this is a very sad thing and a wicked thing that we do. 

Let us turn to Matthew 23 where we will see how the religious leaders, the scribes and Pharisees and, of course, the churches today—hopefully, not us—omit these weighty matters.  They omit, they pass over “the weightier matters of the law.”  They do all of the superficial and outward things.  In Matthew 23:23-28, it says: 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, 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 sepulchres, 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. 

So we see here in verse 23 that they have “omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith,” but they made sure that they tithed their herbs, that they “pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin,” these light things.  Even Jesus says, “These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”  Then it goes on to describe how they “strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” 

Many of us, maybe, we get very serious about the little things.  We make sure that we do those little outward things so that when people look at us, we look like, “Yes, we are Christians; we do all of the outward things that need to be done to make us look pretty good in the eyes of men.”  Thus we outwardly appear righteous, just like these Pharisees. 

However, what we are doing is “strain(ing) at a gnat, and swallow(ing) a camel.”  The “weightier matters” are what is in our heart.  This is the issue.  What is our heart like?  Is our heart right with God or are we just going through the motions and just doing all of these outward things.  Are we listening to certain things from the Bible, but really, our heart is not in it and we are not really taking it seriously? 

Let us go to a parallel passage that we find in Luke 11:42.  It says: 

But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 

These are the two edges of the sword of the Word of God.  We have the “judgment…of God” and we have “the love of God,” and this is what the Bible is all about.  This is what life is all about.  It is all about God’s salvation and whether we are in the Kingdom or whether we are not. 

So we want to make sure that we get very serious with God and “strive to enter in,” not that we can work our way into Heaven, but we can plead with God and cry out to God for mercy.  And He does have love; He does have mercy.  This is what we want to get serious about now as we “draw near” to Judgment Day.  As far as these “weightier matters” that the Bible talks about, it talks about our sins being “weighty,” being “heavy.” 

Let us go to Psalm 38.  In Psalm 38, we read how our sins are a “heavy burden” that we cannot bear; they are “too heavy” for us.  In Psalm 38:1-4, we read: 

A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. 

Our sins are “too heavy” for us because of the punishment of sin.  The judgment of God is that “the wages of sin is death” and “hell is…destruction.”  This is way “too heavy” for us that we cannot possibly rise up from it, that God’s wrath is upon us because we have transgressed and broken His Laws.  This is a very serious thing.

So when God starts to show you your sin, this is when you start to realize that you have this “heavy burden.”  But before, when you were going on in life and you had nothing to do with God and you did not even recognize your sins, you felt light as a feather.  “What ‘burden’ are you talking about?  You are crazy.  What are you talking about, this ‘burden’ of sin?” 

This is because, in our blindness, in our spiritual deadness, we cannot see this great, awful load that we have that is pressing us down to “hell” and “destruction.”  But once God starts to open up our eyes and we start to see our sin and God starts to draw us to Himself, this is when we start to realize, “Whoa!  I am in big trouble and I cannot do anything about it.  This is a ‘heavy burden’ on me that is going to bring me down into the pit of hell, into death and eternal destruction and complete annihilation.” 

In Isaiah 1, God says that we are “a people laden with iniquity,” and this is that same word “heavy” as in Psalm 38 where it said that our “iniquities are…an heavy burden.”  That word “heavy” is translated “laden” in Isaiah 1:4.  It says: 

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity… 

That is, we are “heavy with iniquity.” 

…a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken JEHOVAH, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. 

You see, our sins are provoking God to anger.  What makes this burden so heavy is the punishment of sin. 

Let us go to Isaiah 24 and we will read about God’s destruction upon the earth.  Remember, because of man’s sin, God has cursed this earth.  It is wearing away and about to pass away.  In Isaiah 24:19-21, we read: 

The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day, JEHOVAH shall punish the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. 

We see here in verse 20, Isaiah 24:20: 

…and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. 

So we see that this earth is going to pass away and it is not coming back.  The way that we know life now is soon to pass away and it is not coming back, but God is going to make “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”  If you are accounted worthy to enter into that Kingdom because of the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, then you will rise up and rise into that Kingdom forevermore.  How glorious this is.  This, too, is very “weighty.”  This, too, is very “heavy.” 

Actually, one of these words that is translated as “heavy”—I think that it is the one in Psalm 38 where it says, “they are too heavy for me”—that same word “heavy” is translated as “glory” and “glorious.”  When it talks about “glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God,” that is also a “heavy” thing.  That word “glorious” is the word “heavy.”  It is a “heavy” thing, this new Kingdom that God is going to create. 

It is so amazing, so incredible, that we cannot comprehend it.  It kind of causes us to stumble a little bit because we just cannot grasp how “heavy” these things are.  We cannot understand just how serious this is, how amazing it would be if we really are saved and we enter into this “glorious…city of God,” just the incredible nature of this and how this is about to happen and that we will be there forevermore.  We just cannot get our hands around this because we are still in this body; we are still bound to this earth. 

This is why we get all caught up in the trifling little things of this life.  We get upset when something does not go right in the house.  It is such a little thing and yet it can cause us to get so angry.  We can flare up a little bit. 

I have to ask myself, “What are you doing when you get upset about these little things when what is coming is this glorious Kingdom of God in less than 20 months?”  This is about to come to pass and it is so glorious and so “heavy.”  If we would only pray to God that He would renew our minds so that we could focus on this and go forward and serve Him and really seek out His Kingdom day by day. 

Let us go to Isaiah 30 where we will see that God’s anger is very “heavy.”  In Isaiah 30:27-28, it says: 

Behold, the name of JEHOVAH cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire: And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err. 

So we see here that the burden of God’s anger is very “heavy.”  It is complete destruction by fire.  God says that He is going to burn this whole place up.  This whole place is going to burn up and us, too, if we are not saved.  Again, it is very hard to comprehend this, but this is what the Bible says. 

Do you remember Cain in Genesis 4?  When God showed him his punishment, he said in Genesis 4:13 that his punishment was greater than he could bear.  Let us start in verse 9.  We read in Genesis 4:9-14: 

And JEHOVAH said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto JEHOVAH, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 

So Cain here recognizes that his punishment is greater than he could bear.  This is the same for us because we are all sinners.  We, too, are worthy of many stripes and worthy of God’s destruction and punishment.  We cannot handle this.  This is why we need the Lord Jesus Christ to take this punishment for us. 

Let us also look at how God describes that His Law is a “heavy yoke” upon us; because, remember, “sin is the transgression of the law.”  God gives us this definition in 1 John 3:4, that “sin is the transgression of the law.”  He also says in another place, in 1 Corinthians 15, how “the strength of sin is the law.” 

Let us go to Acts 15 where we will see how the Law is a “heavy yoke” that is upon the human race because, by nature, we are all “under the law.”  We are bound to “keep the law.”  Let us read Acts 15:5-11: 

But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. 

So we see here that God describes the Law as being a yoke on our necks that we are not able to bear.  This is because if you have a salvation plan by works, by keeping the “law of God,” you are required to “keep the whole law”; you cannot “offend in one point.”  This is an incredible burden that is impossible for us to keep, to bear.  We cannot possibly do this because of our sinful nature. 

Also, let us go to Romans 2.  God makes a distinction.  Before we are saved, the Law is a very “heavy burden” that we cannot bear; but once we become saved, God tells us that the “law of God” is “not grievous” to us; “His commandments are not grievous.”  This verse is in 1 John 5.  Maybe I should read that first.  In 1 John 5, God says that “His commandments are not grievous.”  In 1 John 5:3, we read: 

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous

This word “grievous” is the same as the word “weightier” that we read in Matthew 23 where they “omitted the weightier matters of the law.”  It is translated as “weighty” and “grievous” and also “heavy.” 

So before we are saved, we have this “heavy yoke” of the “law of God” on us; but then, after we become saved, the Law is no longer “heavy.”  We “delight in the law of God.”  It is not “grievous” to us.  We want to do the will of God. 

In Romans 2, we see this distinction between keeping the Law “in the letter” of the Law or “in the spirit” of the Law.  In Romans 2:27-29, we read: 

And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Do you see the contrast here?  It is either outward or inward.  We are either trying to “keep the law” “in the letter,” that which is outward, or “in the spirit,” in our heart, that which is inward; because when God saves us and He puts that “new spirit” in us, it is a new creation. 

Again, it is hard for us to grasp this; but if we become a “new creature” in Christ, “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  Then, all of a sudden, all of our desires and all of our wants and all that we think about is towards the “law of God” and in wanting to obey it.  We do not want to “keep the law” because we think that this is going to get us saved or because we want to get something in return, like a reward because “Oh, look at how good I am.”  No, it is because this is our whole “delight.”  We want to do it.  It is not “grievous” to us. 

However, before salvation, we can try to “keep the law,” the letter of the Law, and that is what is coming out of our flesh.  This is all in our flesh.  It is all outward.  We do it because our conscience convicts us.  We do it because we think that it is something that we should do. 

Mankind “show(s) the work of the law written in their hearts.”  We know the right thing to do, but yet it is very arduous.  It is very difficult.  It is very hard.  We fall all of the time.  We really, in our heart’s desire, want to do things our own way because we still have a “wicked heart” that is full of sin.  We love ourselves and we love our own lusts and wants. 

Yet, outwardly, we try to “keep the law” because it makes us look good in the sight of others; therefore, we try not to do outwardly wicked things, although sometimes our conscience can get “seared with a hot iron” and then we can just fall into all sorts of wickedness.

Really, this is what is in all of unsaved man’s heart.  But man, “in the flesh,” we can have this type of self-control where we can keep ourselves back a little bit from just going full headlong in fulfilling all of our lusts, because we know that we can get into big trouble. 

Let us also go to 2 Corinthians 3:6 where we see this contrast between “the letter” and “the spirit.”  In 2 Corinthians 3:6, it says: 

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 

Again, this whole keeping of “the letter” of the Law is a trap.  It kills you.  It is not going to get you into Heaven.  It is not going to save you.  You cannot “keep the whole law,” even though you can try as hard as you want. 

There are different degrees of doing this that people get into.  I used to think, “Well, I am a pretty good person.  I do not do all of these outward wicked things like raping someone or murdering someone outwardly.”  So, somehow, this makes us okay and a pretty good guy and allows us to think that we will be okay because we can keep “the letter” of the Law a little bit.

But this is not going to get us saved.  This is killing us.  It is deceiving us.  It is this “heavy yoke” that is upon us that we do not even realize.  We do not think that this is a “heavy yoke,” and yet it really is because it is not bringing salvation.  Instead, it is bringing us down further under God’s wrath. 

Let us go back to Matthew 23 where we will see that the religious leaders lay these “heavy burdens” on people’s shoulders.  They say, “You have to come to church every week if you want to have salvation.  You have to give so much money, too.”  All the different churches make up different rules for what you have to do to get into the Kingdom, “Just accept Christ,” and that seems like a very light “law.”  “All you have to do is believe.  All you have to do is just accept Him.”  Does that not seem very light?  It is nothing.  “Just say the sinner’s prayer,” and—boom—you are in! 

However, they do not realize that this is actually a “heavy yoke” because, first of all, this is deceptive.  This is not true.  This is a false gospel and it is a “work.”  “Belief” is a “work.”  “Faith” is a “work,” and so you really “bind heavy burdens” on people when you say this.  Once you say that this is something that you have to do, then this qualifies as a “work” and you have to “keep the whole law.”  If you want to be “justified by works,” you have to “keep the whole law.” 

In Matthew 23:4, it says: 

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. 

This word “heavy” is the same word “weightier” from Matthew 23:23 where it said, “the weightier matters of the law.”

So they “bind” these heavy burdens” on people.  Then notice that it says: 

…and lay them on men’s shoulders…

Wonderfully, the Lord Jesus Christ takes this burden for His people. 

Let us go to Luke 15 where we see a beautiful picture of how Christ lays us on His shoulders and does all the work.  In Luke 15:1-7, we read: 

Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 

What a beautiful parable of how the Lord Jesus Christ, as He seeks to save that which was lost, when He finds them, He puts them on His shoulders and carries them home. 

This is what the Lord is doing.  If He saves you, it is like He is putting you on His shoulders and carrying you into the Kingdom.  He is doing all the work and this is why we can rest in Him. 

Let us go to Matthew 11 where Jesus tells us, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Why?  Why is His burden easy and why is His yoke light? 

This is because He does all of the work.  He does all of the work of salvation.  We do not have to do anything.  Remember, once He saves us, we do not want to try to “keep the law.”  It is a “heavy burden.” 

It is so hard to “keep the law of…God.”  This is because we still have that “evil heart” if we are not saved and it is very hard to do this.  However, once we become saved, He puts this desire in us and we “delight in the law of God.”  It becomes easier as God teaches us and as we learn.  Sometimes He has to chastise us because our flesh gets in the way and we start to lust a little bit after something else, but God can quickly bring us back in line.  We are thankful for this, “Oh, thank You, Lord.  Yes, because what makes me happy is to do Your will.” 

But the work of salvation, Christ does it all, as we read in these beautiful verses in Matthew 11.  We read in Matthew 11:28-30: 

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

When we say that the Lord Jesus Christ did all of the work, what did He have to do?  He had to die.  He had to endure hell’s “destruction,” after which the Father raised Him up; but He went through that death.  He really did experience death.  He experienced “destruction” when He paid for His people’s sins. 

Sometimes we can kind of lose sight of this, I guess.  I do not know.  It just seems that sometimes we do not realize what He went through.  Again, this is because it is hard for us to grasp.  This is hard for us to get our hands around, but Christ really did experience death.  He really did experience “destruction” to pay for His people’s sins, and we just want to thank Him so much for that. 

Think about this.  Do not think, “Christ paid for His people’s sins,” and then just move on.  Take the time to think about what this means.  He really did experience that judgment.  He experienced the wrath of God, whatever that is.  We cannot really comprehend what all of that is.  We have read verses where God tells us that His anger is “burning” and “heavy” and “wrathful.”  He is coming and He is going to bring down His hand and destroy and crush this world.  It is never going to rise again.  We read about all of this wrath and all of this anger, and Christ experienced this.  Christ experienced this death. 

What a Savior!  It is incredible.  It really is an unparalleled act of mercy and kindness that we can take so lightly.  Thank about how “heavy” this was.  Almighty God, for the sake of wretched, wicked man who spits in His face and does not even care about Him, says, “No, no.  I am going to take that wrath and anger for you.”  If we stop and think just how serious and amazing this is, it really boggles the mind. 

Let us also go to 2 Corinthians 10 where we will see some descriptions that God gives in the Bible of just how serious this is and how “weighty” these matters are and how God is going to bring a Judgment Day. 

Mankind, we take it so lightly.  We just think, “Well, this is all just words.  It is just words.  God is not really going to do all of this.”  Maybe we think that He is just exaggerating a little bit, but God does not exaggerate.  God is very serious.  Every word that He says is for a purpose. 

I remember one time when we were handing out tracts.  I offered a man a tract and he said, “It is just words.  It is words.  It has no meaning.  It is just words.”  I thought about that and said, “Yes, you are right, if this was just my words, it would mean nothing.” 

Who cares what man says?  Who cares what I say?  But God’s Word does have power.  Do you remember how He created the world?  He spoke.  He said the word and the things were created.  He spake and then it was done. 

Remember one time when a man came to Jesus and said, “But speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed”?  The Word of God does have power and God is going to be just like He says in the Bible. 

Here in 2 Corinthians 10:7, we read: 

Do ye look on things after the outward appearance?… 

Again, as man, we all look on the “outward appearance.”  This is all that we can see.  A lot of times, it is just a vain show. 

…If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s… 

This is speaking to those who think that they are saved.  They think that they are Christ’s. 

…let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s. 

Here, this is Paul.  He is the one speaking.  We know that this is God’s Word, but Paul is the one who is speaking.  He says, “even so are we Christ’s.” 

Look at the life of Paul.  Look at what he went through.  Do you think that you are saved?  Look at how Paul’s life was and make a little comparison to see how your life compares.  It is just amazing what he went through. 

In the next chapter, in 2 Corinthians 11, he describes some of these things that he went through.  We read in 2 Corinthians 11:23-27: 

Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 

I read this quickly, but take a look at this passage.  Read each section very carefully and then think about each one.  Think about the life that Paul had, what he endured for the Gospel’s sake.  If you think that you are saved, then compare your life.  Think about this.  Think about how we complain—and I am talking to myself—how we complain about the little things.  Think about this.  Paul says, “Do you think you are Christ’s?  ‘Think this again.’  If you are Christ’s, ‘so are we Christ’s.’”  So look at his life and what he endured for the Gospel.    

Going back in 2 Corinthians 10:8-11, we read: 

For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present. 

Spiritually, this is God speaking.  This is what God is saying.  Man says, “Oh, His letter, that Bible, it does have some ‘weighty’ things.  It sounds so tough.” 

I remember another time when we were handing out tracts and somebody said, “God is not all that He is cracked up to be.”  Sadly, this person had thought this.  They had gotten into the Bible and just did not think that it was worth much. 

Yet God is telling us that just as He has written in the Bible, this is how He is going to be when He comes.  Right now, it is as if God is absent.  He is not here in the sense that we can see Him.  Today, He has not made Himself known in a supernatural, physical way, and so it is like He is absent.  It is like He is not here, but yet He left us this Book.  He has left these letters that He has written to us and we can see all of the “weighty” things that He talks about and how serious life is. 

He warns us.  He has warned us repeatedly, and now He is warning the world of the Judgment Day that is coming on May 21, 2011, and yet we can take this so lightly.  We think, “Well, is He really?  God is not going to do that.”  Yet God says that just as He says in His Word, this is what He is going to be like when He comes.  Therefore, we can trust His Word, that God Himself is “weighty and powerful,” just like His Word. 

Let us go to Matthew 22 where we will see how mankind, how all of us by nature, takes this so lightly.  We just do not care.  This is what it boils down to.  In our sins, we just do not care.  We do not care about these things.  We would rather just have our bowl of soup now.  We would just rather have our fun now.  The world has pleasures in it.  We are all “in the flesh” and we enjoy these earthly pleasures sometimes.  If we are thinking about years to come or if we are thinking about the Judgment, which is now only 20 months away, we think about eternity, but for some reason, in our blindness and in our deadness, we just do not care. 

Here in Matthew 22, we have this parable of the king who made a marriage for his son.  We read in Matthew 22:1-7: 

And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 

Notice the reaction here of those who are being called by God.  As the Gospel call goes out, the Gospel call goes into all the world.  It is calling people, “Come to the wedding.  Come to the marriage.  Seek the Lord Jesus Christ and His glorious salvation,” “and they would not come.” 

This word “would” is the word “will,” as in a purpose or a desire.  They did not desire to come.  They did not want to.  They heard about it.  They heard the call and they did not want to.  Instead, we read in verse 5, Matthew 22:5: 

But they made light of it… 

They did not care.  That word “made light of” is the Greek word ameleo.  It has the prefix a, which is a negative prefix, and meleo, which means “to care.”  So this word means “to not care.”  They did not care: 

…and went their ways… 

Where did they go? 

…one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 

Actually, spiritually, the “farm” and the “merchandise” refer to working in the Gospel.  But here, they are working in false gospels.  Instead of following the true Gospel, instead of seeking out the true Gospel of the Bible, they turn to their false gospels.  They turn to their religion.  They turn to their outward show: the gospels of “works,” because that really is the underlying current of all false gospels and of all false religions.  The underlying current is “works.”  It is when you are told that you have to do something in order to obtain salvation.  This is what they would rather have than having the Lord Jesus Christ be the payment and having the Lord Jesus Christ do all of the work, even though many pay lip service to Christ.  This is why it can be so deceptive, but there really is a distinction.  So here, they just did not care. 

This same word “made light of” is translated “neglect” in Hebrews 2:3.  It says: 

How shall we escape, if we neglect [if we do not care about] so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 

How are you going to escape if you do no care about God’s salvation and if you do not really give much thought to the Bible?  You go through the week and, really, you just do not care.  You would just rather do something else.  Then how are you going to escape?  You are not going to escape.  God is coming.  You cannot escape Judgment Day, so why are you so foolish?  Why are you so foolish as to get caught up in the cares of life?  If you despise God, if you do not care about God, then He is not going to care about you. 

This same word is found in Hebrews 8.  Of course, God is righteous in all that He does.  This is not a wicked thing that the Lord does.  In Hebrews 8:9, it says: 

Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

The word that is translated “regarded not” is this same word ameleo, the word that is also translated “neglect” or “made light of.”  It literally means “to not care.”  “I regarded them not, saith the Lord.”  This is how serious this is.  If you despise God, then you are going to be “lightly esteemed.” 

Let us go to 1 Samuel 2 where God says, “They that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”  In 1 Samuel 2:29-30, God says: 

Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people? Wherefore JEHOVAH God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now JEHOVAH saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed [a light thing]. 

They will be “a light thing” in the eyes of God and He will destroy them.  If something is important, if something is cherished, if something is loved, you do not destroy it.  You do not destroy something that you love and care about. 

However, on Judgment Day when God comes—because He has given the world time; He has given us the warning and He has given us time to repent and to cry out to God that maybe He will save us—if we do not care about this and scoff at this, then God will, in turn, do as He says and bring the Judgment for those who “lightly esteemed” God. 

Let us go to Numbers 21 where we will see how Israel said, “Our soul loatheth this light bread.”  This is what they called the “manna” that they were fed with for forty years by God.  They loathed this “light bread,” as they called it.  In Numbers 21:4-6, it says: 

And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And JEHOVAH sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 

What does this “manna” represent?  Who is the true “manna” that “came down from heaven”?  It is the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the “bread of life.”  His Word, the Bible, is also the “bread.”  Jesus is “the word,” so do we loathe Him?  Do we think that the Bible is “a light thing”?  Do we call it “light bread”?  When we read the Bible, do we know how serious this is that Almighty God is speaking to us?  If it is something that we read day by day, it can become kind of ordinary to us and we can lose the sense of how serious this is, but may God give us the strength and give us the wisdom to understand that every time we read the Bible, this is Almighty God speaking to us.  This is not “a light thing.” 

Do not ever think that this is just “a light thing.”  Here they said, “Our soul loatheth this light bread.”  When we say that it is time to read the Bible now, let us not have the attitude of, “Oh, I have to read the Bible again.”  No way.  We need to pray, “Oh Lord, help me to love Your Word.  Help me to take it seriously.  Help me not to despise the Bible reading time.” 

This is especially true for the children when it is family time to read God’s Word and the attitude is, “Oh, now we have to put away our toys and get serious and look into the Bible.”  We do not like this sometimes, so may God have mercy on us and on our children to love His Word. 

Let us go to Luke 14 and look at a few more verses here before we close.  In Luke 14, we will see a similar passage to the one in Matthew 22.  Here in Luke 14, we see how man makes excuses to not care about God’s things.  Instead, we care about the things of this world.  In Luke 14:15-24, we read: 

And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. 

If we make excuses and we follow the things of this world instead of seeking “first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness,” we are never going to “taste of [His] supper.”  We are never going to taste that glorious Kingdom that is about to come on that “great day” when God raptures all of His people and they go in and “taste” of the “supper” of God and start to “drink of the river of thy pleasures.”  We will be here if we are left behind.  If we are left behind, we will be thinking about this and seeing what we have just lost and how we are never going to “taste of [His] supper.”  Instead, we made excuses.  One said, “I have married a wife, and therefore,” because I did this, “I cannot come.” 

But do not let this stop you from seeking God if you are married or for any other reason that comes up in life.  We cannot let these things keep us from God, as we read here in verse 26, Luke 14:26: 

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

So we cannot let anything stop us or cause us to make an excuse to not come to Christ to seek Him for His salvation, because the things of this life are so trivial.  They are actually called “the smallest matters.” 

Let us go to 1 Corinthians 6.  In 1 Corinthians 6:1-4, we will see how God refers to the things of this life, the “cares of this life,” as “the smallest matters,” and yet they can consume a lot of our time and a lot of our thoughts and stir us up more than “the weightier matters” of God’s Word.  We read in 1 Corinthians 6:1-4: 

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 

Notice here in verses 2 and 3 how God defines what “the smallest matters” are.  1 Corinthians 6:2-3: 

…are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? …how much more things that pertain to this life?

You see, the “things that pertain to this life” are “the smallest matters.”  This is why we do not want to become choked with the “cares of this life.”  

Let us read about this in Luke 21:34 where it says: 

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged… 

This is the word “burden.”  It is very similar to the word “the weightier matters.” 

…lest at any time your hearts be overcharged [burdened] with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 

Instead, what we want to do now is put away the things of this life, as we “draw near” to Judgment Day, and seek out God’s Kingdom “with all your heart and with all your soul.” 

Let us go to 2 Corinthians 4.  We will close with this last verse where we will see that this life is a “light affliction” that we are going through right now.  If you are a child of God, it is a “light affliction,” but ahead is an “eternal weight of glory.”  In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, we read: 

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 


So we see how this “exceeding and eternal weight of glory” is about to come to pass.