Summary: If Jesus stood in your pulpit today, what sermon would He preach?

Sermon of Woes

Matthew 23:13-33

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 [Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.] (This verse is not found in early manuscripts) 15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. 16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ 17 You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ 19 You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? 20 Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it. 23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

I wonder what it would be like if Jesus was in the pulpit today?

What kind of sermon do you think He would preach this morning?

What message would He feel compelled to deliver to us good people?

Would it be kind & hopeful causing us to feel good about ourselves?

Would it be a fire & brimstone causing us to examine our hearts?

Surely He’s happy with us and the way we live our lives.

So what kind of sermon would He have for us today?

His most famous oration is the Sermon on the Mount.

He spent time with His followers teaching how we are to live.

Most of His sermons were full of compassion & encouragement.

He knew just what the lost souls of the world needed to hear.

The sermon we’re gonna take a look at today is a little different.

He didn’t ease into this sermon with a nice anecdote or preacher joke.

He jumped right in to admonish a group of the most unlikely folks.

This sermon was directed toward the most churchy of all church folks.

He called out the scribes and the Pharisees and He let them have it.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!

>Seven times Jesus says, “Woe to you!”

Woe is used here as a warning of judgment against them.

We sometimes use this word in self pity. “Woe is me.”

>Hee Haw – “Gloom, despair and agony on me; deep, dark depression, excessive misery”

Jesus was saying to them, “Gloom, despair and agony on you.”

They were heading for deep, dark depression and excessive misery.

Jesus refers to them as hypocrites and nothing could be more insulting.

>This term in the Greek referred to actors in the theater.

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