Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.
~~G. K. Chesterton
Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees
As I mention in the first part of this message “Jesus Warning Against Hypocrisy”, this is a very sad time in our nation’s history, as well as the church. As I’ve watched the chaos unfold over the past several years there is a division among this nation that is heartbreaking.
The nature of the Old Testament prophets was to sound the alarm. What is taking place in America has an impact both naturally and spiritually for all of its citizens, as well as other nations.
Jesus gave seven warnings that we would do well to take heed to today:
- “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (v. 13-14)
- “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are. (v.15-16)
- “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it. (v. 16-22)
- “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. (v. 23-24)
- “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.(v. 25-26)
- “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. (v. 27-28)
- “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started! (v. 29-32)
Then Jesus called them snakes:
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation. (v. 33-36)
Jesus then says: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. (v. 37-38)
Jesus last statement expressed that they would not see Him again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ The disciples asked Jesus. “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (v. 39)
The word “hypocrites” refers to an actor, someone playing a part. Jesus exposed the corruption covered by the spiritual image of the scribes and Pharisees. The hypocrite pretends goodness, but beneath a religious veneer has a malicious or deceitful heart ( Matt. 22:15-18 ; cf. 1 Peter 2:1 ). Though hypocrites justify their religious activity, their hearts are not true to God ( Matthew 15:7-9 Matt. 15:18-19 ; cf. Isa. 29:13-14 ). They make an outward show of religion, whether in giving an offering, charity, praying, or fasting. A hypocrite is self-deluded by his or her own pretension, which fools no one else. Matt. 7:5 ; Luke 6:42
Hypocrisy may involve a failure to discern spiritual truth ( Luke 12:54-56 ; 13:15 ; cf. Matt 12:7 ; 23:23 ) or even a willful blindness to spiritual matters ( Matt. 23:17; 23:19; 23:23-24; 23:26 ).Whatever the case may be, it’s time for the people of God to awaken to the truth and discern the times in which we are living.
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Romans 13:11
In His Service,