Summary: This is sermon #3 in my series on Passion Week. It answers the question-"Why Do People Reject Jesus Christ?" This is Day 3 of Passion Week- A Day of Controversy. Jesus is attacked and challenged. He answers His enemies with stunning rebuke.

Passion Week

Day 3(Tuesday)before the crucifiction, A Day

of Controversy and Personal Attacks.

Text: Matthew 23:1-39

Title: "Why Do People Reject Jesus Christ?"


This morning, we will be considering Day 3

of Passion Week, which was a day of controversy,

and personal attacks. Jesus is under fire, and

He lashes out in rebuke of the unbelief of the

religious leaders of Israel for rejecting Him as

Messiah. In the chosen text used for the Scripture

reading this morning, Jesus pronounces eight woes

against the religious leaders, calling them hypo-

crites, and publically humiliating them. He is

not a coward running from trouble. He set His

face to come to Jerusalem, knowing He would face

rejection, and die for the sins of the world.

Now, remember, that on Day 2(Monday), of

Passion Week, Jesus had cursed the barren fig

tree, which represented the fruitlessness of

the nation of Israel, and He had also entered

the temple for the purpose of driving out the

moneychangers, who had corrupted God’s House,

and made it a den of thieves. Now, it is Tues-

day, and He returns from Bethany and is on the

way back to Jerusalem, with His diciples. It

will be a day filled with turmoil.

The first event of importance that we need

to look at is that the fig tree that He had cursed

the day before was now dry and withered from the

roots. He used this as an object lesson to teach

His disciples about the power of prayer, and about

Divine judgment on unbelievers. Several groups

attack Jesus, and try to trick Him into saying

something that will condemn Him.

I. First, He faces the Sanhedrin-

His authority as a teacher is questioned by

this body of religious leaders. The chief priests,

the scribes, and the elders were all there. They

had a pre-arranged agenda, to condemn Jesus some-

how. Jesus turned the tables on them, and put them

on the spot. When they gave no answer, neither did


He told 3 parables of rebuke to them:

1. The parable of the wicked husbandmen-

This condemned the religious leaders for

their rejection of God’s only Son.

The punch line was-"The kingdom of God will

be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing

forth the fruits thereof."(Mt. 21:43)

2. The parable of the marriage feast-

This parable shows the unworthiness of the

nation of Israel of God’s mercy for rejecting His


3. The parable of the wedding garment-

This also shows Israel’s unpreparedness

to receive God’s Messiah, and hence, their lack

of righteousness by faith.

* Reason #1 People Reject Jesus Christ-Because they

refuse to believe God.(Unbelief)

They should have been first to accept Him, and

welcome Him, but "He came unto His own, and His

own received Him not."

2nd Corinthians 4:4-"In whom the god of this world

hath blinded the minds of them which believe not;

lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ,

who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

II. Secondly, The Pharisees and the Herodians

attack Jesus about giving tribute to Caesar.

He turned the spotlight on their hyprocrisy

again and rebuked them saying, "Render to Caesar

the things that are Caesar’s, and to God, the

things that are God’s".

Reason #2-People Reject Jesus Christ, because He

reveals their sin, and they don’t want to face it,

or admit it.

John 3:20-"For every one that doeth evil hateth

the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his

deeds should be reproved."

Better to face them now, than at the judgment."

III. The Sadduccees attack Him next over a

dispute about the resurrection from the dead, which

they denied.

Jesus made them look like fools, also, and

revealed that God is the God of the living, not

of the dead.

Reason #3-People Reject Jesus Christ, because His

life and teachings contradict theirs.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall

set you free."

IV. Next, a Pharisee attacks Jesus with a

question from the law of Moses about the greatest


Jesus revealed that man is to put God first,

and his fellowman second.

Reason #4-People Reject Jesus Christ because He demands total commitment, and they want to rule their

own lives, not yield to God’s control.

Ps. 2-"Let us break their bands asunder, and

remove their cords from us..." Such is the thinking

of every rebellious sinner.

We must love God supremely, and always put Him


"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His


V. Jesus, Himself, then raises an attack on

the religious leaders, by proving who the Messiah

really would be-son of David, and David’s Lord.

Then, Jesus pronounced the woes against the

Scribes and Pharisees. He showed that inwardly

they were corrupt, while appearing to be devout

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