Summary: exposition on Matt ch 23 v 1 - 36


Matthew 23 v. 1 - 36

The Hypocrite is an actor or pretender - and here is seen in the Scribes and Pharisees by:-

1. What they sought

They sought the :-

v. 1 - 5,

(a) Admiration of men - v. 5 "but all their works they do for to be seen of men"

(1) The rigour in their works v. 4 "they bind heavy burdens"

(2) The revelation by their works v. 4 - don’t keep them

(3) The rejection of their works v. 3 "do not ye after their works"

(4) The reason for their works - man’s praise not God’s

(b) Advancement of men v. 6 - "they love the uppermost rooms at feasts"

- in social and religious life, they love the place, the power, the pride, the praise,and the prominence -but as for Jesus "I am meek and lowly"

(c) Adulation of men v. 7 - 12 they seek:-

(1) The respect of men v. 5 "they make broad their phylacteries"

(2) The reward of men v. 6 " love the chief seats"

(3) The response of men v. 7 "greetings in the markets and to be called Rabbi."

we find in v. 8 - 12:-

(1) Such praise is deceitful v. 8 - one is your master and ye are brethern

(2) Such praise is delusion v. 9 & 10 one is your Father that is God,

v. 10 one is Master that is Christ

(3) Such praise is a denial v. 11 - of what and who you really are i.e. a servant

(4) Such praise is a danger v. 12 "whosoever shall exalt himself, shall be abased"

2. What they taught

v. 13 - 22,

v. 13 "but woe unto you" - because of:-

(a) Their preaching v. 13 "they shut up the kingdom of heaven against men"


(1) The seriousness of this charge "ye shut up" - men who could be saved, and would be saved, and should be saved are not saved because of their error

(2) The severity of this charge v33 "Ye serpents how can ye escape the damnation of hell"

(3) The solemnity of this charge v. 13 - not only do they refuse themselves but they repel others also - "woe unto you"

(b) Their praying v. 14 "ye devour widows houses and make long prayers"

(1) The Cost of their praying - "devour", robbing widows

(2) The Conceit in their praying " for a pretence"

(3) The Characteristics of their praying -"make long prayers"

(4) The Consequence of their praying v. 14 "ye shall receive the greater damnation"

(c) Their proselytising v. 15 "ye compass sea and land"

Note it was:-

(1) An undoubted zeal

(2) Undaunted zeal "one proselyte"

(3) Undesirable zeal "two-fold more the child of hell" - not even aware of their error

(d) Their praising :-

v. 16 of gold over the temple

v. 18 of the gift over the altar,

v. 22 of heaven over God,

and so the Lord responds:-

v. 17 - the temple sanctifies the gold,

v. 19 the altar sanctifies the gift,

v. 22 and it is God that sanctifies heaven

3. What they wrought

v. 23 - 28 They had a show of:-

(a) Religious tithing - it was so precise v. 23, pre-eminent, perverse "omitted" v. 23, and presumptious v. 24

(b) Respectability v. 25 & 26 started wrong (working from the outside), sought wrong (comformity not conversion), settled for wrong v. 25 -(sin not salvation) "within was full of extortion and excess."

(c) Righteousness v. 27 & 28 - its self-righteousness, showy righteousness, but sham righteousness - "full of all uncleaness"

4. What they thought

v. 29 - 36 - they thought they were better than:-

(a) Their fathers v. 30 and they weren’t

(b) Their teachers v. 34 - and they weren’t

(c) Their temple v. 38 - and they weren’t "your house is left unto you desolate"

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