Christ admonisheth the people to follow the good doctrine, not the evil examples of the scribes and Pharisees.
Matthew 23:1 Then spake Iesus to the multitudes, and to his disciples, Matthew 23:2 Saying: The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moyses seate. Matthew 23:3 All therfore, whatsoeuer they bid you obserue, that obserue and do: but do not ye after their workes, for they say, and do not. Matthew 23:4 Yea, they bynde together heauy burthens, and greeuous to be borne, and lay them on mens shoulders: but they them selues wyll not moue them with [one] of their fingers.
His disciples must beware of their ambition.
Matthew 23:5 All their workes they do, for to be sene of men: They make broade their philacteries, and enlarge the hemmes of their garmentes. Matthew 23:6 And loue the vppermost seates at feastes, and to syt in the chiefe place in councels, Matthew 23:7 And greetynges in the markettes, and to be called of men, Rabbi. Matthew 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: For one is your maister, [euen] Christe, and all ye are brethren. Matthew 23:9 And call [no man] your father, vpon the earth: for one is your father, which is in heauen. Matthew 23:10 Neither be ye called maisters: for one is your maister [euen] Christe. Matthew 23:11 He that is greatest among you, shalbe your seruaunt. Matthew 23:12 But whosoeuer exalteth hym selfe, shalbe brought lowe: And he that humbleth hym selfe, shalbe exalted.
He denounceth eight woes against their hypocrisy and blindness:
Matthew 23:13 Wo vnto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: for ye shut vp the kingdome of heauen before men: ye neither go in your selues, neither suffer ye them that come, to enter in. Matthew 23:14 Wo vnto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: for ye deuoure widdowes houses, and that vnder a pretence of long prayer: therfore ye shall receaue the greater dampnation. Matthew 23:15 Wo vnto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: for ye compasse sea and lande, to make one proselite: & when he is become one, ye make hym two folde more the chylde of hell, then ye your selues [are]. Matthew 23:16 Wo be vnto you ye blynde guides: for ye say, whosoeuer doth sweare by the temple, it is nothyng: but whosoeuer sweareth by the golde of the temple, he is a detter. Matthew 23:17 Ye fooles and blynde. For whether is greater, the golde, or the temple that sanctifieth the golde? Matthew 23:18 And whosoeuer sweareth by the aulter, it is nothyng: but whosoeuer sweareth by the gyft that is vpon it, he is a detter. Matthew 23:19 Ye fooles and blynde, for whether is greater, the gyft: or the aulter that sanctifieth the gyft? Matthew 23:20 Who so therfore sweareth by the aulter, sweareth by it, and by all thynges theron. Matthew 23:21 And who so sweareth by the temple, sweareth by it, and by hym that dwelleth therin. Matthew 23:22 And he that sweareth by heauen, sweareth by the seate of God, and by hym that sitteth theron. Matthew 23:23 Wo vnto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye tythe mynt, and annise, and cummyn: and haue left the wayghtier matters of the lawe, iudgement, mercy, and fayth. These ought ye to haue done, and not to leaue the other vndone. Matthew 23:24 Ye blynde guides, which strayne out a gnat, and swalowe a Camel. Matthew 23:25 Wo vnto you Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites: for ye make cleane the vtter syde of the cup, & of the platter: but within they are full of brybery & excesse. Matthew 23:26 Thou blynde Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outsyde of them may be cleane also. Matthew 23:27 Wo vnto you Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites: for ye are lyke vnto paynted sepulchres, which in dede appeare beautifull outwarde, but are within full of dead [mens] bones, and of all fylthynes. Matthew 23:28 Euen so, ye also, outwardly appeare ryghteous vnto men: But within, ye are full of hypocrisie and iniquitie. Matthew 23:29 Wo vnto you Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites: ye builde the tombes of the Prophetes, and garnishe the sepulchres of the ryghteous: Matthew 23:30 And say, yf we had ben in the dayes of our fathers, we woulde not haue ben parteners with them in the blood of the prophetes. Matthew 23:31 And so ye be witnesses vnto your selues, that ye are the chyldren of them which kylled the prophetes. Matthew 23:32 Fulfyll ye lykewyse, the measure of your fathers. Matthew 23:33 Ye serpentes, ye generation of vipers, howe wyll ye escape the dampnation of hell?
and prophesieth of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Matthew 23:34 Wherfore, beholde I sende vnto you prophetes, and wyse men, and Scribes, and [some] of them ye shall kyll and crucifie: and [some] of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from citie to citie. Matthew 23:35 That vpon you may come all the ryghteous blood, which hath ben shed vpon the earth, from the blood of ryghteous Abel, vnto the blood of Zacharias, sonne of Barachias, whom ye slewe betwene the temple & the aulter. Matthew 23:36 Ueryly I say vnto you: all these thynges shal come vpon this generatio. Matthew 23:37 O Hierusalem, Hierusalem, thou that kyllest the prophetes, and stonest them which are sent vnto thee: Howe often woulde I haue gathered thy chyldren together, euen as the henne gathereth her chickens vnder her wynges, and ye woulde not? Matthew 23:38 Beholde, your house is left vnto you desolate. Matthew 23:39 For I say vnto you: ye shall not see me hencefoorth, tyll that ye say, blessed [is he] that commeth in the name of the Lorde.