Bible Passage: Matthew 23:13-33
A lesson of Woes
I wonder what it would be like if Jesus was in the pulpit today?
What kind of lesson do you think He would preach this morning?
What message would He feel compelled to deliver to us good people?
Would it be kind & hopeful causing us to feel good about ourselves?
Would it be a fire & brimstone causing us to examine our hearts?
Surely He’s happy with us and the way we live our lives.
So what kind of sermon would He have for us today?
His most famous oration is the Sermon on the Mount.
He spent time with His followers teaching how we are to live.
Most of His sermons were full of compassion & encouragement.
He knew just what the lost souls of the world needed to hear.
Last week of Jesus life
The sermon we’re gonna take a look at today is a little different.
He didn’t ease into this sermon with a nice anecdote or preacher joke.
He jumped right in to admonish a group of the most unlikely folks.
This sermon was directed toward the most churchy of all church folks.
He called out the scribes and the Pharisees and He let them have it.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
Seven times Jesus says, “Woe to you!”
Woe is used here as a warning of judgment against them.
We sometimes use this word in self pity. “Woe is me.”
Jesus was saying to them, “Gloom, despair and agony on you.”
They were heading for deep, dark depression and excessive misery.
Jesus refers to them as hypocrites and nothing could be more insulting.
>This term in the Greek referred to actors in the theater.
Actors play a role or pretend to be someone they are not.
Jesus was accusing them for pretending to be something they were not.
He was displeased in their false pretenses and didn’t hide His disgust.
>Let’s jump in and take a closer look at Jesus’ Sermon of Woes.
>The first two go hand in hand.
They were leading people away from heaven.
They taught human tradition & religious rules instead of God’s Word.
Do this! Do That! Rules! Rules! Rules!
These Pharisees were religious men with a passion for the law.
They attended temple regularly…They tithed & they prayed.
But full self righteous enthusiasm, they taught the law instead of God.
These self-righteous pretenders were leading people astray.
Is it possible this could be happening in the church today?
They were serving as Missionaries of Misery.
The problem wasn’t in their enthusiasm to evangelize – that’s great!
The problem was in what they were teaching and preaching.
Their mission was to convert others
to follow their brand of religion.
They worked on others to be like themselves and not like Jesus.
True evangelism leads others to believe in Jesus Christ, not religion.
When we teach anything other than Jesus, we’re leading them to death.
>I want to take a look at four more verses. >Verse 25-28<
The pretense of cleanliness on the outside hid the stains on the inside.
WHITE COLLAR SIN VS. WHITE SHIRT SIN
With the Pharisees, the people were getting
only what they could see.
But Jesus knew more – He compared them to whitewashed tombs.
They were bright and shiny on the outside, but full of deadness inside.
Jesus was telling them that on the inside they were dirty as hell, for hell is dirty!
Jesus isn’t concerned with the shiny outside if the inside is corrupt.
Covering the dirt on the outside will not change the inside.
True righteousness starts on the inside and changes the outside.
Old adage: Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes to the bone!
What we look like on the outside doesn’t reveal what’s on the inside.
Who are we on the inside?
Are we truly who we presents ourselves to be?
Jesus concludes His sermon with a harsh admonition.
Jesus was harshly chastising these religious hypocrites.
He was accusing them of falsely representing the kingdom of God.
In His sermon, Jesus revealed:
5 traits of a church going hypocrite:
1) They claim authority for themselves
2) Insincere concern for others.
3) Loveless and uncaring.
4) Pretentious displays of piety.
5) Pride & Arrogance
Do any of these relate to us as the church today?
Do we call people to a relationship with God, or religion?
Do we focus on mercy and compassion or rules & regulations?
Do we make a big deal of things that don’t really matter at all?
Are we so busy trying to look good that we forget to be good?
God is never fooled
He sees our hearts.