1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
<b>The law was derived from the Ten Commandments that God dictated to Moses (Ex 31:18), following which Moses wrote the law (31:9) for the people to follow (Deu 4:13-14). The scribes and Pharisees held the office of explaining the Law (termed the seat of Moses, the place of authority), as set out in the first five books of the Bible. </b>
3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
<b>They had added to the ceremonies of the law, others of their own invention, which are not only oppressive but had become a yoke and burden on the people, lacking any reason, or revelation (Is 10:27). </b>
5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
<b>Phylactery a small leather box tied to the left arm and forehead. Inside were strips of parchment containing scripture (Ex 13:1-16, De 6:4-9, 11:13-21). This was commanded in (Deu 6:8). Also, an Israelite wore a fringe upon each of the four corners of his outer garment (Nu 15:38-40, De 22:12). The Pharisees and scribes enlarged their phylacteries or fringes to draw attention to themselves. The intent was to keep God's word before them but they wanted everyone to notice how holy they were. Motives, not actions, are usually what make people hypocrites. </b>
6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
<b>No one believer is higher than another and neither can have authority over other believers. For the authority of a believer in Christ is over spirit forces in the satanic realm, not over people (Eph 6:12 amp). </b>
9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
<b>Observing and exalting people of earthly status in high esteem, over God. </b>
10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
<b>The primary scheme of satan and is carried out through religion. Religiously following traditions and rituals, having a form of godliness but denying the power.(3 Tim 3:5). </b>
14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
<b>Blind observance to religion and traditions carries the greater penalty of attracting judgment (2 Cor 11:4, Mark 7:13). </b>
15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
<b>Religious people are the hardest of all to bring to the Lord (2 Cor 4:4). </b>
16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!
<b>The Religious leaders were spiritually blind and yet acting as spiritual guides for the people </b>
17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.
19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.
21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.
<b>In their own eyes they made God a part of their hypocrisy (Gal 6:7). </b>
22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
<b>This is self righteousness and religious traditional ritual taken to the extreme. </b>
25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
<b>Good on the outside, but inside they were full of dead men's bones.</b>
28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
<b>God is not mocked their sowing in unrighteousness, was about to reap on them a harvest of the judgment of the enemy.</b>
33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
<b>Serpents like their father, the father of lies (Gen 3:1, John 8:44).</b>
34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
<b>Speaks of the cup of iniquity, filled with judgment, to be poured out on them which it was. In 70 A.D. Jerusalem was totally destroyed by Titus the roman General.</b>
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
<b>The religious leaders in Israel had influential power because of their position.
Following their decision to oppose Jesus, they then attempted to lead others to do the same. Throughout this chapter, Jesus condemns them point blank. They should have been the first to enter the kingdom of God, because of their knowledge of Scripture and their standing in the Jewish community. However they refused, Jesus finally warns them that they are actively walking into the judgment intended for satan (John 16:11, John 3:18). </b>
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
<b>Jesus longing for Jerusalem to turn and change their mind and ways, He is by no means deserting Jerusalem, but Jerusalem had deserted Him. Jesus expresses the very heart of God. Who desires to draw all people into Himself, but Jerusalem refused. Jesus longed to save Jerusalem, but they would not receive it.
God has given us free choice and will never force us to receive Him, but oh how He longs that we would, as expressed here by Jesus (John 15:7, 1 John 5:1).</b>
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
<b>Jesus foretells the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred in A.D. 70, when the Temple was destroyed and Jerusalem was leveled, burned, and plundered (Luk 19:43-44).</b>
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
<b>In His compassion, Jesus assures Israel that God will never adandon them and would fulfill His promise to establish them as a nation in the future. He tells the scribes and Pharisees, that they will not see Him again until they welcome Him with outstretched arms saying ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’ (Romans 11:26 - 27, Revelation 1:7).</b>