Matthew 23


The Almighty God is our Father; Jesus is our Lord


1 Jesus spoke to the multitude and to his disciples, 2 saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 Observe all whatever they bid you, observe and do; but do not do like their works: for they say, and do not do. 4 They bind heavy burdens, heavy to be carried, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 They do all their works to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8 But do not be called Rabbi: for one is your Guide/Teacher, even Christ; and all of you are brothers. 9 And do not call any man your father on the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Do not be called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you will be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be abased; and he that humbles himself will be exalted.


  • Rabbi means teacher.
  • These leaders were meeting their needs by the praise of others rather than relationship with God.
  • When our pride rules our lives, we want to be in charge, recognized.
  • When humility rules we delight in serving out of love.
  • What a glory that we call the Almighty God master and father.
  • Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavily loaded down, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
  • James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.


13  But cries of grief to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you do not go in yourselves, nor allow them that are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore you will receive the greater damnation. 15 Cries of grief to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel over sea and land to make one convert, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.


  • What a horrible thought—children of hell. When all God desires is that we become His children.
  • The kingdom of heaven is what everyone has been searching for since the fall of man.
  • Billions of dollars are spent every year on ‘vacations.’
  • The kingdom of God is far better than any earthly vacation.
  • Heaven is the only place you will walk on streets of gold so pure that you can see through it.
  • It is the place where the One who created you will love you with all His heart for all eternity.
  • ALL needs and desires will be fulfilled to the infinitely exquisite maximum.


16  Woe to you, you blind guides who say, Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 17 You fools and blind: for what is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 And, Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is guilty. 19 You fools and blind: for what is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Whoever swears by the altar, swears by it, and by all things on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple, swears by it, and by him that dwells in it. 22 And he that swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God, and by him that sits on it.


  • They were making up their own rules and missing the God who resided in the temple.
  • Ezekiel 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and on the throne was the likeness of a man above upon it. 27 And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from his loins upward, and from his loins downward, I saw the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. 28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.


Jesus spoke the truth in love


23  Cries of grief to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these you ought to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 You blind guides, who strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but inside they are full of extortion and excess. 26 You blind Pharisee, cleanse first what is inside the cup and platter so that the outside may be clean also. 27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed graves that truly appear beautiful on the outside, but are within full of dead bones, and of all uncleanness.


  • Dead men walking! Jesus told them that they were like rotting corpses walking around.
  • The Pharisees actually strained all their drinks to be sure there were no unclean insects in the cup.
  • But they extorted money from widows and made up rules for the people that God didn’t give them and then charged them for sacrifices they ‘needed to make” when they broke the false rules.
  • They murdered the prophets God sent to speak to them.


28  Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets, and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 And say, If we had been there in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Therefore you are witnesses to yourselves, that you are the children of those that killed the prophets. 32 Your fill up then the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?


  • Their words were poison causing eternal death in hell.
  • Their way of escape is standing before them, speaking to them.
  • They would soon crucify Him.

34 Therefore, behold, I send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you will kill and crucify; and some of them will you scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar.


  • Notice that He claimed to be God who sent them the prophets to turn them back to Him.
  • 2Chronicles 24:20 And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood above the people, and said to them, Thus says God, Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has also forsaken you. 21 And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD.


The Lord is coming again soon


36  Truthfully I say to you, All these things will come on this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone those that are sent to you, how often I would have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say to you, You will not see me from now on until you say, Blessed is he that comes in the name/person of the Lord.


  • This quote is from Psalm 118:26.
  • The Savior they looked for from heaven was standing there speaking to them. But they do not see it because sin from their pride had blinded their eyes.
  • The Lord’s heart longs to gather His children to Him often.
  • Since Jesus was rejected when He came to earth 20 centuries ago, He’s going to come again. This time as a stern judge and conquering king who will put down all unrighteousness and establish the Kingdom of God on this earth. Elijah will probably herald this coming and that’s the day the Nations of Israel will “look on Him whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 10:12) and realize he’s the same person who came to them 2,000 years ago as their Messiah.” Hal Lindsey, The Promise.
  • Matthew 24:30 And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven: and then all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.


                                             Matthew 24


The Lord comes to shake the powers of heaven and earth


1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, Do you not see all these things? Truthfully I say to you, Not one stone will be left on another here that will not be thrown down.


  • The inside of the temple was gold plated.
  • In 70 AD Titus and the Roman Legions destroyed Jerusalem and set the temple on fire.
  • Afterward they took every stone apart to get to the gold that had melted in between the stones.


And as he sat on the Mount of Olives the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said to them, See that no man deceive you. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you are not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there will be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows/birth pains.


  • The word ‘sorrows’ is ‘birth pains.’
  • Birth pains become more frequent and more intense as the time of delivery approaches.
  • John 14:1 Do not let your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.


Then they will deliver you up to be afflicted, and will kill you: and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, and will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will rise, and deceive many. 12 And because iniquity will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he that endures to the end, the same will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then the end will come.


  • Jesus was answering their question about when would the end come and what would be the sign of His coming?
  • This is not about eternal salvation, but deliverance from a horrible world situation.
  • Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked will do wickedly: and none of the wicked will understand; but the wise will understand. 11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice will be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there will be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he that waits, and comes to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
  • Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom, that will never be destroyed: and the kingdom will not be left to other people, but it will break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it will stand for ever.


He gave specific survival instructions


15  Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever reads, let him understand:) 16 Then let those that are in Judea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him that is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him that is in the field turn back to take his clothes. 19 And woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 And pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.


  • We can pray for this generation. We can pray this exact prayer.


21  For then will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever will be. 22 And except those days be shortened, no flesh would be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. 23 Then if any man says to you, Look, here is Christ, or there; do not believe it. 24 For there will arise false Christs, and false prophets, and will show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they will deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Therefore if they say to you, Look, he is in the desert; do not go out: behold, he is in the secret chambers; do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines unto the west; so also will the coming of the Son of man be.


  • One out of every 25 verses in the New Testament refers to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to this earth.
  • There are five times as many prophecies about His second coming as there were for His first.
  • Every prophecy of His first coming was fulfilled in the smallest detail.
  • "The second coming of Jesus Christ to the earth will be no quiet manger scene. It will be the most dramatic and shattering event in the entire history of the universe.” Hal Lindsay
  • Into the midst of the battle of Armageddon where the nations of the world have gathered to destroy the Jews, the heavens will split open and Christ will appear on a white horse. All the armies of heaven will be following Him!
  • Matthew 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face shined as the sun, and his clothing was white as the light.
  • Revelation 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shines in his strength.
  • Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a garment dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies that were in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he would strike the nations: and he will rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he has on his robe and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.


He gathers His own to Himself


28  For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken: 30 And then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.


  • Israel, at this time, will be like the carcass of a downed animal being plundered by the nations of the world.
  • The sign of the son of man is a constellation that will shine in the heavens (Genesis 1:14).
  • God wrote all history and His plan of salvation in the stars on the fourth day of creation.
  • Virgo, the virgin told of the virgin birth. There was a star that told the wise men of the birth of the Son of God, there is a sign in the heavens that will announce His Second Coming to earth.
  • Isaiah 13:13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.


32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is still tender, and puts out leaves, you know that summer is near: 33 In the same way, you, when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Truthfully I say to you, This generation will not pass until all these things are fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36 But of that day and hour no man knows, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.


  • Our heavenly Father alone knows the day and the hour of the return of Christ to earth to end the reign of evil.
  • His words are the only thing that will last beyond heaven and earth.
  • God is very specific. He says here, in these words given by His Holy Spirit, written through holy men (1 Peter 1:21), that no man knows the day or the hour.
  • He does not say that no man knows the year. The book of Hosea gives a general estimate of 2,000 years after the destruction of Israel as a nation (Hosea 5:14-6:2).


37  But as the days of Noah were, so will also the coming of the Son of man be. 

38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 And did not know until the flood came, and took them all away; so also will be the coming of the Son of man. 40 Then two will be in the field; the one will be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; the one will be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for you do not know what hour your Lord comes.


  • 1Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.
  • 1John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he appears, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.


43  But know this, that if the head of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore you also be ready: for in such an hour as you do not think, the Son of man comes. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?  46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes will find doing this. 47 Truthfully I say to you, That he will make him ruler over all his possessions.


  • This feeding is food of the heart. It is Jesus, the bread of life (John 6:35).
  • John 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me more than these? He said to him, Yes, Lord; You know that I love you. He said to him, Feed my lambs. 16 He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me? He said to him, Yes, Lord; You know that I love you. He said to him, Feed my sheep. 17 He said to him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me? Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, Do you love me? And he said unto him, Lord, You know all things; you know that I love you. Jesus said to him, Feed my sheep.


48  But if that evil servant says in his heart, My lord delays his coming; 49 And begins to strike his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards; 50 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he does not look for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him apart, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


  • Verse 4-44 is for Jews. It speaks of the Son of Man.
  • Verse 45- ch 25:30 speaks to the church because it speaks of Christ as Lord.
  • Matthew 25:31-46 is for Gentiles speaking of Jesus as King.
  • Psalm 119:57 You are my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep your words.
  • Lamentations 3:24 The LORD is my portion, says my soul; therefore I will hope in him.




SUMMARY: Matthew 23-24


  • The Almighty God is our Father; Jesus is our Lord
  • Jesus spoke the truth in love
  • The Lord is coming again soon
  • The Lord comes to shake the powers of heaven and earth
  • He gave specific survival instructions
  • He gathers His own to Himself