Hypocrisy Exposed

23 (A)Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: (B)The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses. Therefore, whatever they tell you, do and [a]comply with it all, but do not do [b]as they do; for they say things and do not do them. And (C)they tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as their finger. And they do all their deeds (D)to be noticed by other people; for they (E)broaden their [c]phylacteries and lengthen (F)the tassels of their garments. And they (G)love the place of honor at banquets, and the seats of honor in the synagogues, and personal greetings in the marketplaces, and being called [d](H)Rabbi by the people. But as for you, (I)do not be called [e](J)Rabbi; for only One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers and sisters. And do not call anyone on earth your father; for only (K)One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called [f]leaders; for only One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 (L)But the greatest of you shall be your servant. 12 (M)Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

Eight Woes

13 (N)But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, (O)because you shut the kingdom of heaven in front of people; for you do not enter it yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.[g]

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one [h](P)proselyte; and when he becomes one, you [i]make him twice as much a son of [j](Q)hell as yourselves.

16 “Woe to you, (R)blind guides, who say, ‘(S)Whoever swears by the [k]temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the [l]temple is obligated.’ 17 You fools and blind men! (T)Which is [m]more important, the gold or the [n]temple that sanctified the gold? 18 And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the [o]offering that is on it is obligated.’ 19 You blind men, (U)which is [p]more important, the [q]offering or the altar that sanctifies the [r]offering? 20 Therefore, the one who swears by the altar, swears both by [s]the altar and by everything on it. 21 And the one who swears by the [t]temple, swears both by [u]the temple and by Him who (V)dwells in it. 22 And the one who swears by [v]heaven, (W)swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.

23 (X)Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and [w]cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the Law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You (Y)blind guides, who [x]strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For (Z)you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full [y]of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee, first (AA)clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the [z]outside of it may also become clean.

27 (AB)Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you too, outwardly appear righteous to people, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 (AC)Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 and you say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you (AD)are [aa]sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 [ab]Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You snakes, (AE)you [ac]offspring of vipers, how [ad]will you escape the [ae]sentence of [af](AF)hell?

34 (AG)Therefore, behold, (AH)I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will (AI)flog in your synagogues, and (AJ)persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you will fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous (AK)Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the (AL)son of Berechiah, whom (AM)you murdered between the [ag]temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon (AN)this generation.

Grieving over Jerusalem

37 (AO)Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who (AP)kills the prophets and stones those who have been sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, (AQ)the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, (AR)your house is being left to you desolate! 39 For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘(AS)Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Signs of Christ’s Return

24 (AT)Jesus (AU)left the temple area and was going on His way [ah]when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. But He responded and said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, (AV)not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”

And as He was sitting on (AW)the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of (AX)Your coming, and of the [ai]end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them, (AY)See to it that no one [aj]misleads you. For (AZ)many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the [ak]Christ,’ and they will [al]mislead many people. And you will be hearing of (BA)wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For (BB)nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be (BC)famines and earthquakes in various places. (BD)But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.

(BE)Then they will hand you over to tribulation and kill you, and (BF)you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 And at that time many will [am](BG)fall away, and they will [an]betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many (BH)false prophets will rise up and [ao]mislead many people. 12 And because lawlessness is increased, [ap]most people’s love will become cold. 13 (BI)But the one who endures to the end is the one who will be saved. 14 This (BJ)gospel of the kingdom (BK)shall be preached in the whole [aq](BL)world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Perilous Times

15 “Therefore when you see the (BM)abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in (BN)the holy place—[ar](BO)let the [as]reader understand— 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 [at]Whoever is on (BP)the [au]housetop must not go down to get things out of his house. 18 And [av]whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 19 But (BQ)woe to those women who are pregnant, and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 Moreover, pray that [aw]when you flee, it will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be a (BR)great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will again. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no [ax]life would have been saved; but for (BS)the sake of the [ay]elect those days will be cut short. 23 (BT)Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the [az]Christ,’ or ‘He is over here,’ do not believe him. 24 For false christs and (BU)false prophets will arise and will provide great [ba](BV)signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even (BW)the [bb]elect. 25 Behold, I have told you in advance. 26 So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. 27 (BX)For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will the (BY)coming of the (BZ)Son of Man [bc]be. 28 (CA)Wherever the corpse is, there the [bd]vultures will gather.

The Glorious Return

29 “But immediately after the (CB)tribulation of those days (CC)the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and (CD)the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then (CE)the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see (CF)the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And (CG)He will send forth His angels with (CH)a great trumpet blast, and they will gather together His [be](CI)elect from (CJ)the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Parable of the Fig Tree

32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: as soon as its branch has become tender and sprouts its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so you too, when you see all these things, [bf]recognize that [bg]He is near, right (CK)at the [bh]door. 34 Truly I say to you, (CL)this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 (CM)Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

36 “But (CN)about that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 For [bi]the (CO)coming of the Son of Man will be (CP)just like the days of Noah. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, (CQ)marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that (CR)Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not [bj]understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the (CS)coming of the Son of Man be. 40 At that time there will be two men in the field; one [bk]will be taken and one [bl]will be left. 41 (CT)Two women will be grinding at the [bm](CU)mill; one [bn]will be taken and one [bo]will be left.

Be Ready for His Coming

42 “Therefore (CV)be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 43 But [bp]be sure of this, that (CW)if the head of the house had known (CX)at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44 For this reason (CY)you must be ready as well; for (CZ)the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

45 (DA)Who then is the (DB)faithful and (DC)sensible slave whom his [bq]master (DD)put in charge of his household slaves, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that slave whom his [br]master finds so doing when he comes. 47 Truly I say to you that (DE)he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My [bs]master [bt]is not coming for a long time,’ 49 and he begins to beat his fellow slaves, and he eats and drinks with those habitually drunk; 50 then the [bu]master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect, and at an hour that he does not know, 51 and he will [bv]cut him in two and assign [bw]him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be (DF)weeping and gnashing of teeth.


  1. Matthew 23:3 Lit keep all
  2. Matthew 23:3 Lit according to their deeds
  3. Matthew 23:5 I.e., small pouches containing Scripture texts, worn on the left forearm and forehead for religious purposes
  4. Matthew 23:7 In Heb “My Teacher” or “My Master”
  5. Matthew 23:8 In Heb “My Teacher” or “My Master”
  6. Matthew 23:10 Or teachers
  7. Matthew 23:13 Late mss add (traditionally v 14): Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses even while for appearances’ sake you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation (as v 14); cf. Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47
  8. Matthew 23:15 Or convert
  9. Matthew 23:15 I.e., doom him to hell
  10. Matthew 23:15 Gr Gehenna
  11. Matthew 23:16 Or sanctuary
  12. Matthew 23:16 Or sanctuary
  13. Matthew 23:17 Lit greater
  14. Matthew 23:17 Or sanctuary
  15. Matthew 23:18 Or gift
  16. Matthew 23:19 Lit greater
  17. Matthew 23:19 Or gift
  18. Matthew 23:19 Or gift
  19. Matthew 23:20 Lit it
  20. Matthew 23:21 Or sanctuary
  21. Matthew 23:21 Lit it
  22. Matthew 23:22 I.e., an indirect reference to God
  23. Matthew 23:23 Similar to caraway seeds
  24. Matthew 23:24 Or filter out
  25. Matthew 23:25 Or as a result of
  26. Matthew 23:26 If the inside was ritually unclean, the entire vessel was unclean whether the outside was cleaned or not (cf. Num 19:15)
  27. Matthew 23:31 Or descendants
  28. Matthew 23:32 I.e., finish what they started
  29. Matthew 23:33 Or brood
  30. Matthew 23:33 Lit are you to escape
  31. Matthew 23:33 Or judgment
  32. Matthew 23:33 Gr Gehenna
  33. Matthew 23:35 Or sanctuary
  34. Matthew 24:1 Lit and
  35. Matthew 24:3 Or consummation
  36. Matthew 24:4 Or deceives
  37. Matthew 24:5 I.e., Messiah
  38. Matthew 24:5 Or deceive
  39. Matthew 24:10 I.e., from the faith
  40. Matthew 24:10 Or hand over
  41. Matthew 24:11 Or deceive
  42. Matthew 24:12 Lit the love of the many
  43. Matthew 24:14 Lit inhabited earth
  44. Matthew 24:15 Or the reader is to understand
  45. Matthew 24:15 I.e., the reader of Daniel
  46. Matthew 24:17 Lit The one who
  47. Matthew 24:17 Housetops were flat living areas
  48. Matthew 24:18 Lit the one who
  49. Matthew 24:20 Lit your flight will not be
  50. Matthew 24:22 Lit flesh
  51. Matthew 24:22 Or chosen ones
  52. Matthew 24:23 I.e., Messiah
  53. Matthew 24:24 I.e., confirming miracles
  54. Matthew 24:24 Or chosen ones
  55. Matthew 24:27 I.e., be visible everywhere
  56. Matthew 24:28 Or eagles
  57. Matthew 24:31 Or chosen ones
  58. Matthew 24:33 Or know
  59. Matthew 24:33 Or it
  60. Matthew 24:33 Lit doors
  61. Matthew 24:37 Lit just like the days...so will be
  62. Matthew 24:39 Lit know
  63. Matthew 24:40 Lit is
  64. Matthew 24:40 Lit is
  65. Matthew 24:41 I.e., handmill
  66. Matthew 24:41 Lit is
  67. Matthew 24:41 Lit is
  68. Matthew 24:43 Lit know that
  69. Matthew 24:45 Or lord
  70. Matthew 24:46 Or lord
  71. Matthew 24:48 Or lord
  72. Matthew 24:48 Lit lingers
  73. Matthew 24:50 Or lord
  74. Matthew 24:51 Possibly referring to other extreme punishment
  75. Matthew 24:51 Lit his portion with

Bible Gateway Recommends