Matthew 23: Woes

For the text of Matthew 23, click here.

Jesus pretty much goes on a rant here about what hypocrites the Pharisees and scribes are. It’s a little scary because I feel like we all get into these periods of our lives where we feel like the experts who sit around telling everyone what to do even though our info is terribly outdated.

First He talks about the way they set lofty standards for others to follow while not trying themselves, then the way they like to be favored, then for leading people down the wrong path, then not understanding what is really important or sacred or clean, then thinking they’re better than their ancestors.

Within this speech, He also tells the disciples with Him what they will do differently, like being brothers instead of Father. It does make it interesting that priests have been referred to as “Father” though. It seems pretty clear, you know? Why would they do that?

Toward the end, when Jesus refers to the people who think they wouldn’t murder or harm the prophets, He also mentions that this generation will be responsible for “all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah”. Abel was the first person murdered in the Bible and Zechariah was the last, which means they are responsible for all of it. ALL OF IT. It does make my wonder a little about whether that’s just about killing Him, which Jesus knew was gonna happen already, or Him and all of the disciples and new believers that come after.

At the very end, Jesus laments as if He were God Himself about how He’d much rather bring them all together.

For downloadable study guides, click here.

Chapter links go to the ESV translations at but I’m reading from the ESV Global Study Bible, which is available for free on the Kindle Reading App.

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