So far in Matthew 23 we’ve seen Jesus take aim at the Pharisees for their hypocrisy:
- Adding their own extra regulations to God’s law, making them the focus – and imposing them on others.
- Using this to enhance their own status as lawmakers and interpreters for others.
- Stopping others from entering the kingdom by (1) their focus on outward behaviour rather than inward transformation; and (2) rejecting Jesus, the Messiah.
- Getting hung up on the small stuff – like tithing their spices – while ignoring the main themes of the law, like justice, mercy, and faithfulness.
Today, Jesus continues with the last three of his seven woes: announcements of judgement against the Pharisees: