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The Lord's Final Sermon

Text: Matthew 23

by Jonathan Exum

Introduction: There is Hypocrisy in Todayís world is there not?

1. The Lord denounces the Scribes and the Pharisees way of living. (Vv. 1-7)

A. They sit on Moses' seat. (V. 2) (Explain)

i. Some believe they sit in a seat in the Synagogue where the rabbi would sit while teaching the law

ii. We know, at least, they were teaching the Law of Moses.

iii. This is a metaphor.

B. The Lord tells the multitude and his Disciples to observe their laws, but to not do their works. (Vv. 3-5)

i. Observe and do the Law

ii. Do not do their works.

a. Ephesians 5:11 & 12- have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness

b. We need to stay away from the works of the ungodly!

2. What's wrong with the Scribes and the Pharisees?

A. Problems revealed by the Lord.

i. Bind Heavy Burdens (V. 4)

ii. Do works to be seen of men. (V. 5)

a. Luke 14:11- whoever exalts himself shall be abased

B. Make broad their Phylacteries (V. 5)

i. What is a Phylactery?

a. Small Cubes covered with leather, had scriptures of the law inside of it, and it was strapped to their foreheads

C. Love best places, and best seats in the Synagogue. (V. 6)

D. Be called of men Rabbi (V. 7)

3. The Lord warns his Disciples. (Vv. 8-10)

A. Be not called Rabbi. (V. 8)

i. What does Jesus mean by this?

a. He doesn't want them to call Rabbi because only ONE is your Teacher. JESUS CHRIST!

B. Call NO man your Father on Earth. (V. 9)

i. What does Jesus mean by this?

a. Because only ONE is your Father, He who is in Heaven!

C. Neither call yourselves Teachers. (V. 10)

i. What does Jesus mean by this?

a. Only ONE is your Teacher, Jesus Christ!

ii. Mark 10: 17 & 18- Why call me good?

4. A few instructions the Lord gives to his Disciples. (Vv. 11-12)

A. Be a Servant of God- Greatest (V. 11)

i. Ephesians 6:6- doing God's will from the heart!

ii. Exerpt from "Leaving Self Behind" by Jack Exum:

We do not need more teachers. We do not need more preachers, or elders. We can get by without more leaders. Our NEED is "more servants." It is from this base that preachers preach and shepherds watch. Service is the door that leads us to where Christ would have us. We are the ones to be taught, fathered, and led. And unless we truly become servants first, we have no power to teach, save, or lead. We say "Have a good minister" while Jesus says "Find A Servant." In the Kingdom of God, the word for greatness is spelled "SERVANT." - (Leaving Self Behind. pp. 10-11.)

B. Do Not exalt yourself. (V. 12)

i. Luke 16:15- abomination in the sight of God.

ii. Proverbs 27:2- when doing God's will, do not boast but rather give God the Glory.

5. The Lord's Denouncement of the Scribes and the Pharisees. (Vv. 13ff)

A. Calls them Hypocrites!

i. What is a Hypocrite?

a. A person who says they do something, but their actions show otherwise

b. As brother Roger Leonard calls it, Play Actors.

B. Shut Up the Kingdom of Heaven. (V. 13)

C. Devour Widows Houses. (V. 14)

i. They take away or get possession of the property of widows by improper arts and pretenses. - Barnes Commentary from E-Sword App.

ii. Acts 20:35- help the weak, don't take away

D. Make long, pretense prayers. (V. 15)

i. Matthew 6:5- praying just to be seen of men.

E. Swear by the Gold of the Temple. (Vv. 16-17, 21)

i. What does this mean?

a. The covetous man, says one, still gives preference to the object of his lust; gold has still the first place in his heart. A man is to be suspected when he recommends those good works most from which he receives most advantage. - Clarke Commentary from E-Sword App

F. Swear by the Gift of the Altar. (Vv. 18-21)

i. What does this mean?

a. That they were swearing by the gift of the altar. Jesus said in V. 18b that he who swears by the gift of the altar, he is obligated to it.

G. Swear by Heaven, Swear by God's Throne. (V. 22)

H. Omitted the weightier matters of:

Justice- The virtue which consists in giving to everyone what is his due; practical conformity to the laws and to principles of rectitude in the dealings of men with each other. Webster's Dictionary

Mercy- Gr. Eleos- compassion

Faith- Gr. Pistis- persuasion, moral conviction

Why are these so important?

The scribes and Pharisees didn't give partial Judgment. Neither did they have faith, or gave mercy to others. We must have all three.

Ex. We cannot live like this. We cannot treat others like the Scribes and the Pharisees did. Ex. Bullying in schools.

Matthew 5: 43-48- Love Your Enemies

I. Make clean outside, but not inside. (Vv. 25-27)

i. Luke 11:39- inward part full of ravening and wickedness

ii. Clean the inside (Heart) first before you clean the outside (Appearance)

iii. Inside of appearing clean eating bowl compared to the outside

a. It's the personality/character that matters!

b. Break the pink mirror of our lives! Joe Wells- YES Weekend Lesson

J. Children of those that killed the prophets. (Vv. 31-32)

i. Fill up the measure of your Fathers

K. The Lord calls them serpents. (V. 33)

i. Try to slither like a snake to escape condemnation

Pulpit Commentary: Our Lord declares the miseries the inhabitants of Jerusalem were about to bring upon themselves, but he does not notice the sufferings he was to undergo. A hen gathering her chickens under her wings, is an apt emblem of the Saviorís tender love to those who trust in him, and his faithful care of them. He calls sinners to take refuge under his tender protection, keeps them safe, and nourishes them to eternal life. The present dispersion and unbelief of the Jews, and their future conversion to Christ, were here foretold. Jerusalem and her children had a large share of guilt, and their punishment has been signal. But ere long, deserved vengeance will fall on every church which is Christian in name only. In the meantime the Savior stands ready to receive all who come to him. There is nothing between sinners and eternal happiness, but their proud and unbelieving unwillingness.

6. The Lord says he sends prophets and wise men that they will crucify. (V. 34)

A. On them may come the righteous blood shed on the earth. (V. 35)

7. All these must pass in this generation. (V. 36)

A. Matthew 16:28- some standing will not taste death till they see the Kingdom

8. Your House has left you DESOLATE. (V. 37)

9. You shall see me no more. (V. 38)


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