Summary: Jesus tells us not to be like the Pharisees.
MATTHEW 23:1 39
MATTHEW 23:1 12 Pharisees Exposed
1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples,
2 saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses;
3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.
4 "They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.
5 "But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.
6 "They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7 and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.
8 "But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.
9 "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 "Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.
11 "But the greatest among you shall be your servant.
12 "Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
Eight Woes, you are guilty, and punishment will come upon you. Jesus proceeds to state wherein they were guilty. This most eloquent, most appalling, and most terrible of all discourses ever delivered to mortals was pronounced in the temple, in the presence of multitudes. Never was there more faithful dealing, more terrible reproof, more profound knowledge of the workings of hypocrisy, or more skill in detecting the concealments of sin. This was the last of the Savior’s public discourses; and it is a most impressive summary of all that he had ever said, or that he had to say, of a wicked and hypocritical generation.
In seven of the eight woes Jesus calls them hypocrites. The word "hypocrite" is taken from stage players, who act the part of others, or speak not their own sentiments, but the sentiments of others. It means here, and in the New Testament generally, those who "evade" or hide their real sentiments, and assume or express other feelings than their own those who, for purposes of display, gain, or applause, put on the appearance of religion. All of these woes can be put on the church today just a Jesus put them on the Pharisees.
1. 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.
We keep people from coming to God, because we ourselves do not come to God.
2. 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.]
We claim to be holy and show it by your long prayers, yet we steal from widows. You may will say when did we steal from widows and I say just as Jesus said, in
45 "Then He will answer them, "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
3. 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.
To be a child of hell was a Hebrew phrase, signifying to be deserving of hell, to be awfully wicked. The Jewish writers themselves say that the proselytes were "scabs of Israel," and "hindered the coming of the Messiah" by their great wickedness. The Pharisees gained them either to swell their own numbers or to make gain by extorting their money under various pretences; and when they had accomplished that, they took no pains to instruct them or to restrain them. They had renounced their superstition which had before somewhat restrained them, but the Pharisees had given them no religion in its place to restrain them, and they were consequently left to the full indulgence of their vices.
More times than not when some one comes into the church, they are left on their own and not given good instruction or we will give them false instruction as not to make them fell bad. Because, they have no firm ground to stand on they are worst off than before.
43 "Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it.