After He answered their questions, Jesus Christ delivered

a stinging indictment against the Jewish religious


Earlier in his ministry, He alluded to them as blind men

leading the blind …:

"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." -- Matt. 15:14

On this occasion, though, He used far harsher descriptive terminology to describe His adversaries:


"…Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites …"

Matt. 23:13,14,21,23,25,27,29

    Blind fools:

"…ye fools and blind…" – Matt. 23:17,19

    Serpents and vipers:

"Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers…" – Matt. 23:33

    Children of Hell:

"… ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." – Matt. 23:15


Compare the severity of the Savior’s language to some of

the expressions God the Father used about the Jewish

nation in connection with their disobedience:


"And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people." – Ex. 32:9

    Children of corruption:

"Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children of corruption …" – Isa. 1:4

    Foolish, ignorant people:

"For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding …" – Jer. 4:22

    Impudent, stiffhearted, scorpions:

"For they are impudent children and stiffhearted… thou dost dwell among scorpions" – Ezek. 3:4,6


Jesus Christ’s primary purpose in this discourse was

condemning the hypocrisy of the Jewish religious

leadership.Earlier in His ministry, He labeled their

doctrine as "leaven"…:

"Then said Jesus unto them, take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." -- Matt. 16:6

… which He further identified as "hypocrisy":

"Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."

--Luke 12:1

The Savior contrasted what the Jewish religious leaders

taught others to do and what they themselves actually


"The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." -- Matt. 23:2,3

Their piety stressed external religious observance at the cost of true religion …:

"… ye pay tithes of mint, and anise of cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."  -- Matt. 23:23

… concealing their pride …:

"(They) love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues. And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi." – Matt. 23:6,7

… their rebellious, God-defying attitude …:

"…ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." – Matt. 23:13

… their covetousness …:

"…ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayer …." – Matt. 23:14

…and their internal spiritual corruption …:

"… ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess." – Matt. 23:25

Jesus Christ concluded His message by pronouncing

impending judgment against the Jewish religious


"… how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" – Matt. 23:33