Matthew 23:23-39 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Jesus Criticizes the Religious Leaders (cont.)

23"It will be bad for you teachers of the law and Pharisees.* You are hypocrites.* You give God one tenth of everything you own--even your mint, dill, and cummin.* But you don't obey the really important teachings of the law--being fair, showing mercy, and being honest. These are the things you should do. And you should also continue to do those other things. 24You guide the people, but you are blind! Think about a person picking a little fly out of his drink and then swallowing a camel! You are like that.* 25"It will be bad for you teachers of the law and Pharisees.* You are hypocrites.* You wash clean the outside of your cups and dishes. But inside they are full of things that you got by cheating other people and pleasing yourselves. 26Pharisees, you are blind! First make the inside of the cup clean and good. Then the outside of the cup can be truly clean. 27"It will be bad for you teachers of the law and Pharisees.* You are hypocrites.* You are like tombs* that are painted white. The outside of those tombs looks fine. But inside, the tombs are full of the bones of dead people. And all kinds of unclean things are inside there. 28It is the same with you. People look at you and think that you are good. But on the inside you are full of hypocrisy* and evil. 29"It will be bad for you teachers of the law and Pharisees.* You are hypocrites.* You build tombs for the prophets.* And you show honor to the graves of people that lived good lives. 30And you say, 'If we had lived during the time of our fathers,* we would not have helped them kill these prophets.' 31You give proof that you are children (descendants) of those people that killed the prophets. 32And you will finish the sin that your fathers started! 33"You are snakes! You are from a family of poisonous snakes! You will not escape God. You will all be judged guilty and go to hell! 34So I tell you this: I send to you prophets* and wise men and teachers. You will kill some of these people. You will hang some of them on crosses. You will beat some of these people in your synagogues.* You will chase them from town to town. 35So you will be guilty for the death of all the good people that have been killed on earth. You will be guilty for the killing of that good man Abel.* And you will be guilty for the killing of Zechariah* son of Berachiah. He was killed between the temple* and the altar.* You will be guilty for the killing of all the good people that lived between the time of Abel and the time of Zechariah. 36I tell you the truth. All of these things will happen to you people that are living now.

Jesus Warns the People of Jerusalem (Lk. 13:34-35)

37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets.* You kill with rocks those men that God sent to you. Many, many times I wanted to help your people. I wanted to gather your people together like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you did not let me. 38Now your house will be left completely empty. 39I tell you, you will not see me again until that time when you will say, 'Welcome! God bless the one that comes in the name of the Lord.'*"

Pharisees The Pharisees were a Jewish religious group that claimed to follow carefully all Jewish laws and customs. hypocrites Bad people that act like they are good. mint, dill, cummin Small plants grown in gardens and used for spices. Only very religious people would be careful enough to give a tenth of these plants. You are like that Meaning, "You worry about the smallest mistakes but do the biggest sin." tombs Small buildings made to show respect for important persons that had died. hypocrisy Acting like you are good when you are not. prophets People that spoke for God. fathers Important ancestors of the Jews, especially the leaders of the twelve Jewish family groups. synagogue(s) Synagogues were places where Jews gathered for prayer, study of the Scriptures, and other public meetings. Abel, Zechariah In the Hebrew Old Testament, the first and last men to be murdered. temple The special building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. altar An altar is a place where sacrifices or gifts are offered to God. There was an altar in front of the temple in Jerusalem. 'Welcome! ... Lord' Quote from Ps. 118:26.

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