Woe to Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:1-39) | back
1Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Addressed the whole crowd of people and His disciples at this time.
2Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: Moses was the law giver. (Deuteronomy 5,6). The Scribes and Pharisees were changing the law so much they thought they were Moses. (More traditions of men). Sound familiar?
3All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. Kind of like do as I say, not as I do. They talk about the Word and put on a good show, but they are not doing it God's way.
4For 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. They load you up with impossible demands that they can't even keep themselves. Never let anyone put you in bondage by their by-laws and traditions.
5But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, All done for show! They act holy by wearing little charms or prayer boxes and long fancy robes.
6And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues. They love to sit at the head table at banquets and right up front in the reserve seats at church.
7And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. They love titles like Rabbi, Master, Father or Reverend and like to be called by them. Super preachers!
8But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. Never let anyone call you that. Only God is your Rabbi or Master and only God deserves reverence. Everyone else in the many member body of Christ is equal.
9And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. And never address anyone here on earth as 'Father,' for only God in heaven should be addressed like that.
10Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. Let no man call you master. For Christ is your master. Christ is everything! Christ served us all on the cross.
11But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. To be the greatest you must serve. The more lower your service to others, the greater you are. Even Christ served!
12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. But, those you think themselves as great (self righteous hypocrites), shall be disappointed and humbled; and those who humble themselves shall be exalted.
13But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. These self righteous hypocrites close the Kingdom of Heaven to others as they pretend to be holy. If you remember; the beatitudes were at the beginning of Matthew in chapter 5. The eight beatitudes were the teachings of Christ as taken from the law of Moses. Here we have the eight woe's taught by the would be teachers and religious leaders. They are the exact opposite of what Christ taught in the beatitudes. Another reference to compare the two would be appendix #126 of the companion bible.
14Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. They hold long public prayers in the streets looking so holy while they evict widows from their homes. Just plain hypocrites who will receive the greater damnation.
15Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. They go to all lengths to make one convert, then turn them to twice the son of hell than you are yourselves through false teachings.
16Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Their rule is that to swear by God's temple means nothing, you can break that oath. But to swear by the gold in the temple is binding. All about the money. You must do this or that and give this amount. And so it is today. Did you ever notice in many churches today that those who give the most money get the most attention.
17Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? Blind fools! What is more important, the gold, or the temple that sanctifies the gold?
18And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. They say that to take an oath by the altar can be broken, but to swear by the gifts of the altar' is binding. In other words, according to these hypocrites, you can break your oath to God, but if you make an oath to pledge money, you are bound by that pledge.
19Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? God sanctifies all things. Never worship the gift more than the altar.
20Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. God is the head of the altar. When you swear by the altar you are swearing by it and everything on it.
21And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. When you swear by the temple, you are swearing by it, and God who lives in it.
22And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. When you swear by the heavens, you are swearing by the throne of God and by God Himself.
23Woe 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. These religious leaders worry so much about the tithing, they forget the law and teaching of God's Word.
24Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. You strain out a gnat and swallow a camel. You worry so much about the things that are not important and ignore the things that count.
25Woe 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. Playing church! It looks so good and holy from the outside, but corruption goes on inside.
26Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Clean it up from within. We are not just talking churches here, but your minds. Sometimes we need to do a little house cleaning in our minds to get rid of all the junk we consume. False teaching and traditions of men.
27Woe 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. like beautiful mausoleums full of dead men's bones. Look so sanctified and religious but are full of corruption.
28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Try to look like such saintly men in your fancy robes, but underneath in your hearts is every sort of hypocrisy and sin. God will not bless a person who attends such a church.
29Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous. Build monuments to the prophets killed by your fathers so you look so holy.
30And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Then say that you would have never acted like our fathers did. Speaking of the Kenites.
31Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. In saying that, you are accusing yourselves of being the sons of wicked men.
32Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Following their footsteps and are just like them.
33Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Generation here is translated offspring. Evil wicked men. The offspring of Satan.
34Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: You crucified and killed the real prophets. Just like many churches today ridicule real teachers of the Word.
35That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. The ones murdered by the Kenites. (Zechariah 1:1-7).
36Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. Judgment of the centuries shall come upon this generation. (Upon this offspring). Again the Kenites. The Kenites became the bookkeepers for Judah. (I Chronicles 2:55). You can also read of them in (Matthew 13:37-39), as the tares who are the children of the devil.
37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! They would not listen to the prophets and they would not listen to Christ.
38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. Why? Because the abomination of desolation will appear there. (Daniel 9:27, 11:31, 12:11).
39For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. The second advent of Christ.