Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matthew 23:23-28
As we continue to look at Jesus’ rebuke of the religious leaders of Israel, we see a pattern. As Jesus said “You have omitted the weightier matters of the law” The religious leaders used parts of The Law to make themselves appear holy and righteous , however they neglected the greater parts of The Law because it didn’t benefit them. As the Apostle James said “Whoever keeps the whole Law, yet stumbles in one point, is guilty of all” (James 2:10) We can’t pick and choose which parts of the Bible we want to follow, we either Love God or we love the world
Jesus called the religious leaders “Whitewashed tombs” (v27) Why? Because on the outside they appeared very holy and righteous. They sat in the most important seats, and quoted long prayers, and wore nice garments, but inside their hearts were wicked. They have adopted to a false religion, a religion that can’t save anyone, they needed to become Born Again through Christ
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. Matthew 23:29-36
Jesus points out the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, they decorate the tombs of the prophets, yet they are the one who killed the prophets. Jesus goes on to call them “You brood of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of Hell” The religious leaders are guilt of killing Gods prophets and eventually will kill the Messiah, they have brought a great judgment upon themselves and the nation of Israel
What can we learn from the religious leaders of Israel? We should learn not to fall for false religion, just because things appear to be “good” on the outside, doesn’t mean they are righteous on the inside. We have seen the Church today has fallen in the same trap, false doctrine and false teachers have flooded the Church. Don’t be deceived , God will not be mocked!
Worship God in Spirit and Truth, if we truly Love God with all our heart, soul, and strength, then our lives should reflect this Love, Amen!