“Woe: Part 1” (Matthew 23:13-15)

“Woe: Part 1” (Matthew 23:13-15)


“Woe: Part 1”

Pastor Richard C. Piatt II | Matthew 23:13-13


February 18 2024



Take your copy of God’s Word in whatever form you have brought it with you today, on phone or laptop or iPad or if you don’t have a copy, just use one in the pew and turn with me to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 23.

You know, there are places in scripture that stand out. Genesis 1-1 in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and so forth. And then John 1-1 in the beginning was the word and the word became flesh and dwelt among us in chapter 1 and 1 and 14. And then there’s others that I saw in the year that King Uzziah died. The Lord high and lifted up in his train filled the temple and The angels and cherubim are shouting, holy, holy, holy. And there’s, of course, then John 3.16 in the passage of, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. And we are encouraged by those words. We are instructed in the word of God. We’re taught truth and what we should believe and things like that.

Then there are other passages scriptures that stand out for other reasons. I know the adult Sunday school class in here brother Mike was teaching and I just saw that he was going to be talking about the bowls of judgment go. Oh, yeah. Well, that’s going to be memorable and and you see those kind of things are where this morning Pastor Ryan read about the great white throne judgment. The words of Jesus in in places can be With such love, he without sin cast the first stone, he would say to the accusing men upon a woman caught in sin. Probably trapped in sin by those same men, but the words of Jesus of love and compassions, permit the little children to come unto me for such is the kingdom of heaven. Precious passages of scripture.

But there are other passages of scripture that oftentimes the liberal church, those that want to always want you to feel good about the prosperity gospel, they’re worried about the size of their church so they don’t want a negative message. We are not one of those kinds of churches because we are more interested in truth than just your feelings. And, but then there are those passages that can breed confusion, oftentimes those in different areas of certain soteriology or the doctrine of salvation, issues of Calvinism, the atonement and those sort of things. And then there are those comments that are just very open. Jesus referring to the Pharisees and now we’re getting close to where our text is gonna be. It’s so easy to read, so easy to miss the eternal import of Jesus, John 10, saying, my sheep hear my voice and they follow me. You are not following because you are not my sheep. Do you realize that as far as I know, that is the only time that we have a record of Jesus looking at a human and saying, you’re not one that the father has given to me. You are not one of the elect. You are a scribe to eternal punishment and hell.

Now, if they would have repented, he would have accepted them, but he was telling them up front. You’re never going to repent. and you will stand underneath the wrath of God at judgment in the last day and be cast in the eternal lake of fire. Brethren, when we gather together, we gather as those that have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb. We are redeemed and saved, not because of what we’ve done, but because of what he has done and we gather to worship. But there are those who hate worship and hate the one of whom that we do worship. And in the day and age when Jesus walked upon the face of the earth, some of those people were called scribes and Pharisees. Scribes were those that were given the ominous task of copying the scriptures. And so they would make copies and so forth. of other religious materials.

The Pharisees, their origin was a little bit different. They came from, kind of arose, my understanding is, is during that 400 years of silence between the close of Malachi and the beginning of the Gospels, and let’s say of Matthew or Luke, depending on what Gospel you want to take, but during that 400 years of silence, they were the ones that were very conservative, I suppose the word would not have worked back then, but to get it into our thinking, they would have in a sense got started, the conservatives, evangelicals, they were the ones that were concerned about truth. They wanted the law straight and so forth. But unfortunately, they almost became, and this sounds funny, but almost too concerned. So that, you know, if you want to please God, you not only want to be clean, you want to be squeaky clean. And to be squeaky clean, they would then add more laws. And as we come into the life and ministry of Jesus being born of a virgin and then growing up and beginning in his ministry, they had pretty much lost it. They had added to the law, they had taken away from the law, they had corrupted the law, and there was no grace, no mercy in a real sense, and they just really kind of messed things up big time.

And when we come now to the latter part of the Gospel of Matthew, that the greater context of all of this in Matthew, go all the way back to Matthew chapter 21. I had you turn there, but Matthew 21 and verse 45. 21 verse 45 says, now when the chief priest and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking of them. which that was true. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitudes because they took him for a prophet. Now, if you can, if you use this to compare back to verse 13, this is Jesus after the triumphal entry and the cleansing of the temple, verse 13 of chapter 21. And he said to them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves. You know, they’re the the corruption of the temple. And this was the second cleansing of the temple. But he goes on and it says in the blind and the lame came to him in the temple and he healed them. But when the chief priests, scribes, and the Pharisees would have been there, saw the wonderful things that he did and the children crying out in the temple saying, Hosanna to the son of David. And they had cried that out up earlier in verse nine. They cried out the son of David up in chapter 20, verse 31. They called him son of David back in chapter 20. And verse 30, O son of David, Hosanna to the son of David. They were indignant, the religious conservatives of the day. And they said to him, Do you hear what these are saying? And Jesus said to them, Yes. And have you never read? So he rebuked them. He’s going to quote scripture out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants. You have perfected praise. And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany. And then he goes on, curses the fig tree as a picture of the fact that he’s gonna curse the nation of Israel because of their rejection of him. And he gives some instructions and so forth. Verse 23, still of chapter 21. Now when he came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted him as he was teaching and said, by what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority? And here is going to be a shift. That Jesus now is not going to play into their little charade, charade, if we want a little culture here, and he is going to rebuff them. And whose authority are you doing these things? Jesus answered and said to them, I will also ask you one thing, which if you tell me, I will likewise tell you by what authority I do these things. And then he talked about the baptism of John the Baptist and so forth. They wouldn’t respond.

And it says verse at the end of verse 27. And he said to them, neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. And then he goes on and he uses a couple more parables. And then we get, they were ticked. We want this man dead. Now this is Jesus, the incarnate son of God, born of a virgin. fulfilling all righteousness, perfect. Well, then in chapter 22, we’ve got Jesus and he spoke to them a parable about the marriage feast and how the invitation was given. Nobody came, then they went out and offered others to come in. And verse 15 of chapter 22, and the Pharisees went and they plotted how they might entangle him in his talk. They say, we got to catch him.

So they come up with certain different ones. They even joined ranks with the Herodians, which were Herod followers and so forth. And they just tried to butter him up and some things that says it’s unlawful to pay taxes. Later on, they talk about resurrection. They didn’t even believe in the resurrection and they’re trying to catch him. And then they tried to get him by way of a lawyer entanglement of saying, which is the greatest of the laws? And he said, to love God and to love man. And then he says, but let me ask you a question. The son of David, whose son is he really? And he put that to them. Then at the end of verse 22, and no one was able to answer him a word from that day anymore did they ask him questions.

So that’s the greater context of all of that. But the immediate context then begins at verse 23, one through verse 12. And that’s what we considered last week. And this was the setup of the passage. And Jesus spoke. And we remember. And this will continue on today. It’s going to be basically to the scribes, the Pharisees and the hypocrites. And we spent some time talking about that. And so this is what he said. He spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples. So this is a message that we need even today saying the scribes and the Pharisee sit and Moses seat. In other words, that’s a seat of authority. These who have been instructing you, these that you have been following, they have been messing things up. And then he goes on, what they tell you to do, they’re not even doing it.

And they go on and he talks about their hypocrisy. Verse five, so that you know their works. They do to be seen by men, make their phylacteries broad and enlarged and border garments and so forth. They’re doing all of this to be seen so that you think that they are something special. Well, he concludes all of that now, and whosoever, verse 12, exalts himself will be humbled. There was no humility with the Pharisees and the scribes and with the hypocrites. He says, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

But, now that is a word of contrast. And he’s gonna say, now, in light of that, I want to get your attention. The contrast isn’t the people to whom that he’s talking. The contrast is not going for, we disagree with them, now I have an agreement. The contrast is, I’ve been speaking nice. I’ve identified the false teachers. I’ve identified these who have been teaching you and those who were out to kill me. And it’s important for us to remember the timing. We’re in the last probably four or five days of the life of Jesus before the death on the cross. He’s already back in Jerusalem. It’s gonna happen real soon. The upper room, the arrest, the fake trials, the crucifixion, and then of course then the next week will be the resurrection.

So as Matthew writes his gospel, he has got this flow that’s so easy for us so far away and reading and covering so many chapters that he is, it’s easy to lose the flow of this. But he wanted the multitudes and his disciples to hear his message, basically his concluding message. And it’s gonna go on in the Mount of Olives discourse in 24. But he wants, this is what’s true about the false teachers of this day and age. And it ultimately comes down even to our own day and age of what these false guys are like. And he is showing the contrast, but, And after that conjunction at the beginning of verse 13, we have the harshest language Jesus has ever used.

There are seven woes that are pronounced here. Woe to you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites. Verse 15, woe to you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites. 16, woe to you, blind guides. Verse 23, woe to you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites. 25, woe to you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites. This one’s a good one. For you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but the inside you’re full of extortion and self-indulgence. Woe to you, scribes, Pharisee, hypocrites, for you’re like whitewashed tombs, 29. Woe to you, scribes, Pharisee, hypocrites, because you build the tombs of the prophets.

Then as we come to this, and he’s beginning to wrap this up, this one pronouncement after another, after another has even led some those that do not believe in the inerrancy of scripture, those of a far more liberal stance than where we would ever be found, said that actually none of this did Jesus ever say, because Jesus was a man of love. We would beg to differ with that.

And that this is not only accounted here, but also in the Gospel of Mark and in the Gospel of Luke. And so what we have are these harsh words of the Lord Jesus concerning these false teachers and those that existed in his day and he wants us to hear it. I want to come to the passage now we’ve kind of introduced it’s kind of a prelude verses 1 through 12 and to get us to ready for this series of seven woes and so I want us this morning we can’t do all that today I can talk fast but I don’t know that you can listen that fast, that we’re only gonna take, we’re not even gonna take four of those woes, Lord willing, gonna take two, but I want four important considerations of the passage, four considerations I think that’s necessary. And then next week I’ll be preaching both services, if I’m not mistaken, and so we’ll kind of maybe, Lord willing, finish up the woes next Lord’s Day.

But I want us to consider this, and the first thing I wanna do today, The first of the four is this. I want us to consider the immediate structure of this passage, 13 through the end of the chapter. As I’ve already said, the first 12 verses are a prelude, then follow seven woes, and then if you’ll notice, and I’m gonna discuss this a little bit more, it goes until verse 31, and then there’s a shift. He says, therefore, you are witnesses against yourselves. He’s been talking to them, and now he says, look at your life, Your actions speak louder than your words. You condemn yourselves. The therefore is a conclusion statement. But there’s another one. Well, let me before I say this, let me just say, he says, therefore, you condemn yourselves. Well, what does that look like? Look at verse 32 for example. Fill up then the measure of your father’s guilt, serpents, brood of vipers, how can you escape the condemnation of hell? Smile, Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.

Now, you laugh, that’s good. And I only do that partially in jest. I’m going to tell you the reason why. We really need a reality check. God hates sin. Jesus hates sin. My brethren, we’re supposed to also. But we compromise with it. We’ll let things go. Jesus is underneath, and this is just a profound statement to say, God in his great mercy. Jesus is underneath the constraints of time. Now he’s God, he’s above time, he created time. Even what time is is open for debate in some of this. He’s beyond it, he’s eternal, but he’s also the God-man and he’s only got so much more time because these guys are gonna die and he’s going to die within a couple of days. There’s a constraint of time and he’s got to get the message clear, you brood of vipers. If you wonder about that, I think most of you would know, but it’s just a, you know, baby snakes.

Now for me, if I breed snakes as a hobby, and so if I get a brood of snakes, that’s a good thing. For most of you, yeah, it’s not. And he didn’t mean it in a positive way. You snakes in the grass, you brood of vipers, how are you going to escape the condemnation of hell? Now, if that’s not by the way, if you missed that, verse 34, therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, scribes, some of them you will kill and crucify. Hmm, I wonder what that was referring to. Jesus and others. And some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from the city that you may come all righteous blood, that you may, yeah, come all the righteous blood shed on earth from the blood of the righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, Barakai, of whom you have murdered between the temple and the altar, assuredly, truly, truly, amen. I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

In light of that, we are now building to the climax of the book. Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem. Now here’s the heart of Christ and his love, even for the nation of Israel, the elect nation. How often I would have gathered you as a hen gathereth the chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. And then we have, see, your house is left to you desolate. For I say to you, you shall see me no more till you say, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. He’s making a pronouncement, which ultimately is gonna go all the way to 70 AD.

You guys are done and judgment is coming and sure. It’s in that light we get 24, because this is now the preface to the Mount of Olives and the coming and the judgment of God and so forth. And we will eventually, Lord willing, get to all of those. But how does he address the religious leaders of that day? Seven woes with the therefore contrast of bringing that up. And his heart, he does not bring judgment against the nation of Israel without compassion. And it’s headed right towards 28, 18 through the end of the book.

That’s why we have the message, because the judgment of God is coming to this earth. Jesus is coming. Sin is gonna be judged. And we shouldn’t just step back like a bunch of Pharisees, self-righteous, saying, so, you know, it’s too bad you can’t be clean and squeaky clean and goody-goody two-shoes like us. No, to have compassion for the lost and to take the gospel to them. Well, I get ahead of myself. Let’s go. We have that pronouncement. So that’s the structure of the whole chapter.

But the other thing I want to do, the second thing I want to do, the four important considerations, not only the structure of the passage, but I want us to consider once again, the importance of certain words, because there is a structure, a repetition that is quite interesting, and it’ll help us to make proper interpretations later on in each one of the individual things that is here. So that, for example, last week I introduced this one when he says, woe to you scribes, Pharisee, hypocrites. And throughout this whole passage in the prelude, verses one through 12, he discusses the fact that all those Pharisees were all hypocrites.

Now what the hypocrite, that word really was an issue of drama. It would be the part that if you play the part of someone that you’re not. Hollywood, this is gonna sound funny but true in more ways than one, that Hollywood is full of hypocrites. Yeah, I heard that. You know, Hollywood is a full of hypocrites but technically that’s what they’re paid to do or to be. You know, if you have Rocky, you know, he’s not really like that, I don’t think. Or if you’ve got, you know, some other guy that’s in this kind of thing. But back in the day here, that when they would have a theater or something like that, they might hold up a mask. Or to hold up, I guess a mask, you know, something on a stick and you’d hold it in front of your face. And one person could put on a whole play, you know. Follow the yellow brick road and then hold up another and follow the yellow brick road and they go on you know and you have a but it’s still one person.

Well obviously this one person is not all of those. And so they play the part of something they are not. The Pharisees were the religious leaders to lead people into truth to help the nation of Israel and they weren’t. They were hypocrites. And so a hypocrite, we discussed that last week. Another thing of the importance of words in this passage is as he identifies these people, after that woe to you scribes, Pharisee, hypocrites, he usually identifies what it is that they’re doing or identifies them. It’s either the noun of the Pharisees or the verb, what they’re doing.

So for example, verse 13, Woe to you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, for you. And this is what their problem was. And actually, this sets up all of the other six woes. You shut up the kingdom of heaven against men. What did Jesus come to do? He came to offer the kingdom of heaven. John chapter three and other places, you know, you must be born again to enter the Kingdom of heaven. How are you born again? You accept Christ. You follow him. You trust him and so forth. And so this was the problem with the Pharisees. They’re hypocrites. They’re playing a part that they’re not doing right. And they’re supposed to be men of truth and they’re men of error and of lies and so forth. But what happened here is is that as they’re doing that, he says, overall, on all these other things, you shut up. entering the kingdom of heaven. But there’s others. For example, drop down to verse 15. For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte. And then when he is won, you make him twice the son of hell. So they’re travelers. Verse 16, woe to you blind guides. We’ve heard that phrase the blind leading the blind. That’s not such a good thing. And that’s exactly what they were.

They were hypocrites saying we have the wisdom of God. I have the truth and you should follow me. But I’m as blind as it comes and I don’t have that truth. And they were known as blind guides. He continues that thought at verse 19 fools and blind. Verse 23. For you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites for you pay tithe of mint. They were religious and their accent actions, but verse 24, you’re still blind guides. You strain out a gnat and swallow a camel verse 25. You cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish that same thought going on to verse 27. You whitewash tombs. where dead men’s bones were. You make things look good, but add the stench and the ooze and the goose of the decaying bodies. He’s building word pictures here. You build the tombs of the prophets, verse 29. And then we’ve already read this one, verse 33. You serpents and brood of vipers. Word pictures. There’s no positive slant on any of this, and they will all help us as we come in the structure of what this is because he compares the Pharisees, the scribes, Pharisee hypocrites by things that we can study and know some things about. Now, not only that, but another important word of the passage, and I’ve kind of let it go until now, though we mentioned a little bit about it, but there are seven woes.

Now that’s not a word that probably you use this week. Some people might make a joke and say, you know, that’s what you say to a horse if you want it to get to stop. No, that’s not what this is, whoa. But the whoa is a statement of judgment and of dread or of drama. And different shows have done this.

I’m gonna play into the little bit older generation now. We’ll see, it’ll be interesting if anybody knows about this. Oil Can Harry. Oil Can Harry in a cartoon, Mighty Mouse. And Mighty Mouse had a girlfriend. And it was almost like every week, Oil Can Harry was capturing his girlfriend. And Oil Can Harry, one of the things he was well known to do is to take the girlfriend and to tie her on a railroad track. Tie her down. And as she’s there, and of course, mighty mouse has got to fight and get, you know, he bound and all this thing. And she would be singing, whoa, whoa, it’s me. You see, it’s drama, but it was also dread. As a kid, I had nightmares over that mouse getting killed.

You know, this idea of judgment and of dread And is there any deliverance? Now that’s more of a contemporary thought on the word of woe. But when you apply it to the Bible and you see, and especially, and this is where it becomes very important, in the word or in the mouth of a prophet, the Old Testament. And a prophet isn’t just one of the minor or major prophets. But even in, could be in Moses’ life in that, but turn with me if you would.

Turn with me back to Isaiah chapter six. This plays into where we have been already today. And even Pastor Ryan, and I think it was his prayer, opening prayer, or maybe reading, when he included holiness. In the year that King Uzziah died, and I saw the Lord sitting on a throne high and lifted up, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Glorious picture here. And above it stood Seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two, he covered his face. With two, he covered his feet. With two, he flew. And one cried out another, holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory. And the post of the doors were shaken by the voice of him who cried out and the house was filled with smoke.

Now notice what Isaiah says. Whoa. Now that was came out of his mouth. in the mouth of a prophet, when a prophet says, woe, what did he say? Woe is me, for I am undone. That word there, undone, means I’m coming apart. I’m becoming disenfranchised. I’m being blown away. I’m disintegrating underneath the weight and of the burden of what it is that I have just seen. I have seen the Lord high, holy, lifted high and up, and immediately turns around and he pronounces judgment upon himself. For mine eyes have seen the king, the Lord of hosts.

Now Jesus is using this word in that way, and that is an oracle. What’s called an oracle or a statement of prophetical utterance in the mouth of a prophet when he said, woe is me. And when he pronounces this, now an oracle can be both positive and negative. And what’s really interesting is the one gospel that emphasizes the positive oracle is Matthew. And you know where? In the Beatitudes. Because the positive oracle or the plus side of an oracle out of prophet’s mouth is blessed. Blessed. are the poor in spirit. Blessed, it means happy. And even when we sang the Psalms, and in the Psalms, blessed is the man who delights in the law of God. That is a blessing as a positive utterance of an oracle upon someone. But the negative is woe, doom. This has been uttered to nations, It was uttered to individuals. It was the calling down of the curse of God to bring judgment.

Now with that thought, we come to the conjunction, verse 13, but woe to you. This is going to specific people. Scribes, Pharisee, you hypocrites. There is no way we can overemphasize the gravitas, the weightiness of what Jesus is saying. This is the kind of passage that preachers like to use their preacher voice. But woe to you! This is serious business. May God help us to hear the messages of the woe Because they didn’t. And they are all underneath the wrath of God right now. To be resurrected one day and then cast into the lake of fire. Whoa. And then, therefore, you are witnesses against yourselves, you serpents. And therefore, you will try and kill me. You will reject me. You will not accept grace into your life. And he says, judgment is coming. Did it? Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem. Not one stone left upon another. But blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord because Christ was the answer to it all. Now, so let’s consider the first woe. And then we’re gonna have to make another consideration as we take a look at this. Verse 13 again.

So we’ve seen the structure of the passage. We’ve seen the importance of words that are here. We’re gonna come back to one thing in the structure of the passage, but I wanna do the first woe, because it comes first. Verse 13, this is the opening declaration, but woe to you, scribes, Pharisee, hypocrites, And this is going to set up all of them because all of them will have part of this. For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men. For you neither go in yourselves. Now go into what? They’re not going into the kingdom of heaven. nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. In other words, you are doing, and notice it’s a plural ongoing text, a present tense. You are entering, those who are entering or want to go in. You are getting in the way of people who want to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Brethren, that is really scary business. I’m gonna jump from the first century to today. There are people that preach a false gospel and they know it. They will do anything they can. Denominations, cults, that will get in the way from study or reading your Bible. Oh, you don’t need to read the Bible. We have the truth. Even historically, the Roman Catholic Church, you know, the church is the only one who can accurately interpret the Word of God. And yet the Word of God says that we all have the Spirit of God, if you know Christ as Savior, and we interpret the Word of God. And so all that they do, they do anything and everything that they can to get in the way. But if I wanna get really bad and start meddling, stop preaching and start meddling, how many Christians are leading such lousy Christian lives that we get in the way? People who say, I’m not going to church, the church is full of hypocrites.

Well, you know, the comic response is, well, and if you join, they’ll just get another one. And we saw that last week. But that’s not technically fully true, because do you want to be a hypocrite? Now, none of us live up to the full truth that we have, but do you want to live up? You see, that’s where then genuine, authentic Christianity comes in. But the Pharisees, they kept You know, you can’t, you shouldn’t do things, do the law, but you know, don’t work on the Sabbath day, but that means you can’t spit over six feet. They added to the law. The Bible doesn’t say that’s not authoritative.

So the opening declaration, he was saying you are lost and you keep others from getting saved or being what you can to mess things up. You take away truth. you add to truth, you cloak the truth, you don’t live the truth, and you mess things up. Today we don’t have a full time to look at all of this, but quickly go with me over to John chapter nine, the gospel of John chapter nine, a good picture of this. This is the account of Christ healing the man born blind.

You remember that? It says, he saw a man who was blind from birth, and the disciples asked him, saying, Rabbi, who sinned, this man’s parents, that he was born blind? And he said, neither his parents nor this man, but that the work of God should be revealed unto him. And you remember what happened? He took and made some mud, put it in the man’s, on his eyes, and he went and washed and came back seeing. And everyone was really all excited.

Verse 14, it was the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Now verse 15, keep in mind, they wanted to keep him lost or get in his way. Then the Pharisees also asked him again, says, how have you received your sight? And he said to them, this man, he put clay on my eyes and I washed and I see. Therefore, some of the Pharisees said, this man is not from God because he does not keep the Sabbath. Well, now wait a minute, you’re denying the miracle which would prove who he is? And others said, how can this man who is a sinner do such a sign?

Well, verse 17, they concluded, well, he’s a prophet then. And verse 20, so his parents, his parents were called in, and then remember verse 19, they asked him a saying, is this your son who you say was born blind? How then does he now see? Well, because they were threatened with getting kicked out of the synagogue, they were going to just say this parents answered and said to them we know that this is our son and that he was born blind but by what means he now sees we do not know or who opened his eyes we do not know he’s of age ask him his parents said of these things because they feared and so forth what I just what I had made mention of and now verse 25 he said whether he is a sinner or not because the Pharisees are saying Jesus is just a sinner Whether he’s a sinner or not, I do not know. But one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see. Well, again, for sake of time, you know what then happened. Jesus came and so forth. But this man said something back to them.

Verse 27, I told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples? Oh, that was the wrong thing to say. They get ticked. They reviled him and said, you are his disciple, but we are Moses disciples. See, follow us. We follow a guy that we all know. We know that God spoke to Moses. And it’s just basically saying, yeah, but Moses didn’t give the blind their sight. You see, you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men. You don’t need grace to get saved, just be good. Give money to the church. Write the checks out, P-I-A-T-T. See, they were wicked. It was all about them. They shut up the kingdom of heaven.

For by grace you are saved through faith. Point them to Christ. plus works, no, Christ, Christ alone. Well, that was the first, they take away the truth. Then the second woe, and remember I said that there were seven, but if you read the text, there’s actually eight woes, verse 14 is the next one. And boy, I really hate to do this in only five minutes before noon, but I’m going to give the quick one.

Verse 14 is missing in some manuscripts, some of your translations. With all the new translations and study Bibles, you almost have to say this. We believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. so forth but verse 14 when it says woe to you scribes Pharisee hypocrites you devour widows houses and for a pretense you make long prayers now were those two things true you devour widows houses and you make a pretense for long prayers because you want to look more spiritual in your prayer life were the Pharisees guilty of all those two things answer a very easy yes so it’s not a a lie that what this verse declares. It is also found in Mark chapter 12 verse 40 basically word for word and in Luke 20 verse 47.

What is commonly believed is is that a maybe one of the scribes had known it was in this other two they put it in here. And so the issue is and so so that you don’t get worried about inerrancy in the scriptures. The text of verse 14 probably is not in the original, because that would be what we believe is the original autographs. That is what is the inspired text. But it is found in other places of the Bible.

So this is an authentic passage. But notice at the end of that verse 14, therefore, you will receive greater condemnation. The therefores are seen over after verse 30. That’s usually the normal way of Hebrew argumentation, which is a telltale sign, probably that’s not there. But rather, if it would have been, it wouldn’t have had that therefore. Now I only go through all of that because some texts and some of you may have a question about that. If you have more questions about that, I’m glad to talk to you afterwards. But the way to look at it is, It is authentic. That is, they were devouring widows’ houses, and they did make a pretense of long prayers. It was all hypocritical, and they were underneath the judgment of God. But verse 15 comes to another woe, and we can consider this one as the second woe. Woe to you. scribes, Pharisee hypocrites, for you travel land and sea to win one proselyte. You see, the two here go together. Those were specific sins in verse 14, but 15 and 13 really go together because these are sins of against these people and proselytes. They travel land and sea to win one proselyte. That would be the Pharisees would go and take a Gentile, which was a dog, but if they would become a Jew, then they would become a proselyte. And it says, and when he is one, that is, he has become a Jew, and when he is one, you make him, and then this unique phrase, you make him twice the son of hell as yourselves.

Now, what on earth does that mean? Well, this is what I believe that it means. As a lost Gentile, as is true to this very day, if you don’t know Christ as Savior and you have not come to the truth, you’re a child of hell. You’re underneath the wrath of God. You need to flee the wrath to come and become a child of God. Well, if you follow the wrong doctrine, and you become a Jew underneath the auspices of being a Pharisee, a Pharisaical Jew, you’re still lost. And in fact, you’re lost two times. You’re lost as a Jew, and now you become a, I’m sorry, you’re lost as a Gentile, and then you become a Jew. They didn’t bring you to the truth, and you’re lost again. You’re twice. as it were lost, you’re twice the son of hell. But unless you question that interpretation, notice what it says, as much as the son of hell as yourselves. He pronounced them, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, you’re sons of hell for denying the truth that the kingdom of heaven is in your midst. Jesus, I am the son of God. I offer free salvation. Come, repent of your sins and trust me. Nah, he’s not the real son of God. Nah, he is just a sinner like the rest of us. Nah, he can’t really save you. If you be the son of God, come down off that cross, they’ll cry by the end of the week. They hate him. They want nothing to do with him. They want salvation in any other way than through Jesus Christ, and he said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes unto the Father but by me. Reject him? You’re the son of hell, and if you go into another group, cult, Mormonism, JWs, Jehovah’s Witness, and all that kind of thing, you become actually, in a real sense, twice the sons of hell.

Now, is there salvation to sons of hell? Well, beloved, we were all sinners. We were all condemned, but the Spirit of God opened our eyes, gave us the gift of faith. We believed we were born again and washed in the blood of the Lamb. Satan and his cohorts of false teachers will get in the way, but Christ is the one. There was zeal without knowledge. Well, Paul had to address the Jews because of that. Evangelism for hell in leading people astray was their sin. And where are we supposed to be? Christ came so that we could know free grace, salvation, deliverance from our sin, and to be born again. I trust you know him. Don’t be. See last week I said we were all hypocrites and I heard some of you were walking around all week calling each other hypocrites. Now I’m going to conclude this second message in the woes and of the hypocrite passage. Don’t be a hypocrite to point others in the wrong way but rather live in Christ.

Let’s pray. Our father in heaven we rejoice and the great and free salvation that we have in Christ. We have nothing with which to boast except on our Savior. Father, we sang the song Cleanse Me, which started off with search me, oh God. May we all search our hearts today, root out any sense of hypocrisy. rejoicing that our woe was born by our Savior upon the cross. Our Father today, help us to point others to Christ, not to get in the way, but to point people to the way, the truth, and the life. Work in us, and in the loss that we come up against, for we pray these things in Jesus’ name, amen.

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