Matthew 23:29–36 (ESV)
Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees (Woe #7)
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous,30 saying,
‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’31 Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who
murdered the prophets.32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers.33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?34 Therefore
I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,35 so that on you may come all the righteous
blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.36 Truly, I say to you, all these things will come
upon this generation.
As Jesus pronounces this seventh and climactic woe, He completes His denunciation.
The charge shifts from hypocrisy and defective observance to rejection of the prophets and violence against them. The Pharisees were guilty of what they claimed they were not doing.
Jesus criticizes the Pharisees’
hypocrisy and obstinacy. Of all the charges that will be laid against God’s people on Judgment Day, none is more damning than the accusation that they despised God’s Word. Even Jesus’ most acrimonious denunciations are motivated by His sincere
desire that people turn from sin and death and receive the gift of eternal life. [Lutheran Study Bible]
I pray: Lord Jesus, thank You for
loving us enough to warn us when we stray from Your Word. Keep us steadfast in Your truth. Amen.