WOE TO YOU … HYPOCRITES (1)
In our previous lesson, we began the study of Matthew 23, a well-known chapter where Jesus exposed ruthlessly the failings of the religious leaders. Seven times He used the solemn expression ‘woe to you.’ Six times He called them ‘hypocrites.’ Twice He spoke of them as ‘blind guides,’ twice as ‘fools and blind,’ and once as ‘serpents and a brood of vipers.’ This is probably the most stern and sustained denunciation of a group of people by Jesus.
We also mentioned that in our interpretation of this chapter, we must be careful not to stereotype Pharisaism. If this text is to be of any benefit to us, we should approach it with the understanding that each of these expressions could well apply to us.
In this lesson, we will study the seven woes and try to look at the principle involved in each of them.