Summary: If you are going to swallow a camel it should at least be well done rather than raw.

Mat 23:23 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.

24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Verse 23 is often use to argue against legalism saying Jesus yelled at them for tithing tiny leaves. That is not completely correct. Jesus did say they got the mint, anise and cummin right. They should tithe every one in every ten leaf of these plants. What His point was that they were so good on the easy stuff, but blew it when it came to the more important or rather weightier points of the law, judgment, mercy and faith.

If there were a gnat in the wine they would strain it out, but if a camel were in it they would just swallow it. As long as you tithed the leaves you could break the law elsewhere, not give justice to someone, be unmerciful and faithless and still be a good Jew.

They were too blind to see they were doing this and yet professing themselves to be guides they do not realize their blindness until they and those who follow them end up in a ditch.

Those groups and preachers that have a dirty dozen of things you must do and cannot do often fall into this category because they major on externals; touch not, taste not, handle not things, but seldom preach on the sins of the inner man like hypocrisy, pride, greed and lust.

Often they produce disciples that are haughty and judgmental justifying or downplaying their own sins of omission and commission while eviscerating those of other people. They are sickly, sallow and shallow Christians that need to spend more time in a mirror then pointing their callous fingers at the unbelievers and struggling Christians.

Don't be a blind guide. Ask God to open your eyes. You may have some of the externals correct, but unless you have the inner man dedicated to Christ you are not a mature and fruitful Christian, if a Christian at all. Maranatha!

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