But they ·cheat widows and steal their houses [L devour widows’ homes] and ·then try to make themselves look good by saying [L with false motives pray] long prayers. They will receive a greater ·punishment [condemnation].”
Then while everybody was listening, Jesus remarked to his disciples, “Be on your guard against the scribes, who enjoy walking round in long robes and love having men bow to them in public, getting front seats in the synagogue, and the best places at dinner parties—while all the time they are battening on widow’s property and covering it up with long prayers. These men are only heading for deeper damnation.”
With everybody listening, Jesus spoke to his disciples. “Watch out for the religion scholars. They love to walk around in academic gowns, preen in the radiance of public flattery, bask in prominent positions, sit at the head table at every church function. And all the time they are exploiting the weak and helpless. The longer their prayers, the worse they get. But they’ll pay for it in the end.”
And for appearances’ sake they will pray long religious prayers at the homes of widows for an offering, cheating them out of their very livelihood. Beware of them all, for they will one day be stripped of honor, and the judgment they receive will be severe.”
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