Life Recovery Bible - Page 41



M atthew 2 3 / Page 1233
teach. 4 They crush people with unbearable
religious demands and never lift a finger to
ease the burden.
5
“Everything they do is for show. On their
arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with
Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes
with extra long tassels.* 6 And they love to
sit at the head table at banquets and in the
seats of honor in the synagogues. 7 They
love to receive respectful greetings as they
walk in the marketplaces, and to be called
‘Rab­bi.’*
8
“Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rab­bi,’ for
you have only one teacher, and all of you
are equal as brothers and sisters.* 9 And
don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your Father.
10
And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’
for you have only one teacher, the Messiah.
11
The greatest among you must be a servant. 12 But those who exalt themselves will
be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
13
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Phar­i­sees. Hypocrites!
For you shut the door of the Kingdom of
Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in
yourselves, and you don’t let others enter
either.*
15
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Phar­i­sees. Hypocrites! For
you cross land and sea to make one convert,
and then you turn that person into twice the
child of hell* you yourselves are!
16
“Blind guides! What sorrow awaits you!
For you say that it means nothing to swear
‘by God’s Temple,’ but that it is binding to
swear ‘by the gold in the Temple.’ 17 Blind
fools! Which is more important—the gold
or the Temple that makes the gold sa­cred?
18
And you say that to swear ‘by the altar’ is
not binding, but to swear ‘by the gifts on the
altar’ is binding. 19 How blind! For which is
more important—the gift on the altar or the
altar that makes the gift sa­cred? 20 When you
swear ‘by the altar,’ you are swearing by it
and by every­thing on it. 21 And when you
swear ‘by the Temple,’ you are swearing by
it and by God, who lives in it. 22 And when
you swear ‘by heaven,’ you are swearing by
the throne of God and by God, who sits on
the throne.
23
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Phar­i­sees. Hypocrites!
For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest
income from your herb gardens,* but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—
justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe,
yes, but do not neglect the more important
things. 24 Blind guides! You strain your water
so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but
you swallow a camel!*
25
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Phar­i­sees. Hypocrites! For
you are so careful to clean the outside of the
cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—
full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind
Phar­i­see! First wash the inside of the cup and
the dish,* and then the outside will become
clean, too.
27
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Phar­i­sees. Hypocrites! For
you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful
on the outside but filled on the inside with
dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.
28
Outwardly you look like righteous people,
but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of
religious law and you Phar­

sees. Hypocrites! For you build tombs for the prophets
your ancestors killed, and you decorate
the monuments of the godly people your
ancestors destroyed. 30 Then you say, ‘If we
had lived in the days of our ancestors, we
would never have joined them in killing the
prophets.’
31
“But in saying that, you testify against
yourselves that you are indeed the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.
3:5 Greek They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. 
2
23:7 Rabbi, from Aramaic, means “master” or
“teacher.” 
23:8 Greek brothers. 
23:13 Some manuscripts add verse 14, What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious
law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! You shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making
long prayers in public. Because of this, you will be severely punished. Compare Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47. 23:15 Greek
of Gehenna; also in 23:33. 23:23 Greek tithe the mint, the dill, and the cumin. 
23:24 See Lev 11:4, 23, where gnats and
camels are both forbidden as food. 23:26 Some manuscripts do not include and the dish. 
23:13-36 Jesus gave warnings of judgment to all the spiritually blind religious leaders because of
their hypocrisy. Their external rhetoric and ritualism were shams, all show with no inner reality.
Such people cause others great pain and are far from recovery themselves. However, there is hope
for everyone—even hypocrites! Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, once numbered among the
hypocrites, eventually found recovery through belief in Jesus (see John 19:38-42). If we search for
Jesus, we will find him, and he will help us in the recovery process.





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