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.
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
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