Seven times in Matthew 23 Jesus pronounces “woe” on the scribes and Pharisees of his day. “Woe” is grievous distress, affliction, or trouble. It’s an exclamation of grief or lamentation.
Using Matthew 23 as a type of mirror for self-examination, Jesus will say “woe” to me…
- If I preach, but do not practice (Matthew 23:3).
- If I expect more of others than I am willing to do (Matthew 23:4).
- If I do all my deeds to be seen by others (Matthew 23:5).
- If I exalt myself (Matthew 23:5-12).
- If I serve as a hindrance at the entrance of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 23:13-15).
- If I am blinded by human tradition and worldly reasoning (Matthew 23:16-22).
- If I neglect the weightier matters of God’s expectations (Matthew 23:23-24).
- If I am filthy and hypocritical on the inside (Matthew 23:25-28).
- If I am confronted with Truth and refuse to respond (Matthew 23:29-36).
The “good news” of Jesus Christ is that it is not too late (Matthew 23:37-39). For those who are willing to respond to God’s offer of grace, the opportunity for redemption still stands (1 Peter 3:18-22).
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