In the opening of this chapter, Jesus is talking to his disciples and the crowd gathered around him. He shares the 7 woes to the audience about the scribes and Pharisees:
The shut door-the scribes and Pharisees, as hypocrites, were showing a mixture of condemnation, regret and sorrow. They are fake leaders drawing the people away from the kingdom of God instead of towards it.
Entrapped converts- the scribes and Pharisees were quick to make converts and make them a people just like themselves, a people not walking with Jesus.
Binding oaths-the scribes and Pharisees were focused on what didn’t matter to God instead of what did matter. They distinguished between oaths made by the temple and those made by the gold of the temple, and between oaths made by the alter and those made by the gift on it. Superficial oaths.
Neglecting the weighty matters of the law- giving the least of what they had and neglecting the more important matters such as justice, mercy and faithfulness. They had become lost in the minute details, while neglecting the law’s overarching intent.
Clean outside, filthy inside- while seeking external purity, the Pharisees were oblivious to the corrupt internal condition of their hearts.
Whitewashed tombs- Jesus is describing the Pharisees as people that have things put together and beautiful on the outside but inside had nothing but death and decay.
Descendants of murderers of the prophets- the Pharisees schemed to have Jesus executed, the religious leaders are following in the footsteps of their ancestors who had persecuted and murdered God’s prophets.
I want to take the words of warning that were so beautifully contrasted with the beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5, and have Jesus examine me on the inside and expose the areas where I am being a hypocrite. I want to love Jesus genuinely with all my heart, soul, mind and strength!
Jesus, it is my desire to be real with people, to have people come to Christ and grow closer and not apart from You. It is my desire to make a right oath before You and to give without neglecting the important matters. It is also my desire to have you expose the corrupt condition of my heart and to remove all that is death and decay. Have your way in me so I can show Your light to the world that is in desperate need of You. In Jesus name, Amen!
Posted on Fri, September 18, 2015
by Brian Landers