Christ admonisheth the people to follow the good doctrine, not the evil examples of the scribes and Pharisees.
Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, Matthew 23:2 Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. Matthew 23:3 All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not. For they say, and do not. Matthew 23:4 For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens and lay them on men's shoulders: but with a finger of their own they will not move them.
His disciples must beware of their ambition.
Matthew 23:5 And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge their fringes. Matthew 23:6 And they love the first places at feasts and the first chairs in the synagogues, Matthew 23:7 And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi. Matthew 23:8 But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master: and all you are brethren. Matthew 23:9 And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven. Matthew 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, Christ. Matthew 23:11 He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. Matthew 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
He denounceth eight woes against their hypocrisy and blindness:
Matthew 23:13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for you yourselves do not enter in and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter. Matthew 23:14 Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour the houses of widows, praying long prayers. For this you shall receive the greater judgment. Matthew 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you go round about the sea and the land to make one proselyte. And when he is made, you make him the child of hell twofold more than yourselves. Matthew 23:16 Woe to you, blind guides, that say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but he that shall swear by the gold of the temple is a debtor. Matthew 23:17 Ye foolish and blind: for whether is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? Matthew 23:18 And whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it is a debtor. Matthew 23:19 Ye foolish and blind: for whether is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Matthew 23:20 He therefore that sweareth by the altar sweareth by it and by all things that are upon it. Matthew 23:21 And whosoever shall swear by the temple sweareth by it and by him that dwelleth in it. Matthew 23:22 And he that sweareth by heaven sweareth by the throne of God and by him that sitteth thereon. Matthew 23:23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you tithe mint and anise and cummin and have left the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and faith. These things you ought to have done and not to leave those undone. Matthew 23:24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel. Matthew 23:25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you make clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within you are full of rapine and uncleanness. Matthew 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, that the outside may become clean. Matthew 23:27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful but within are full of dead men's bones and of all filthiness. Matthew 23:28 So you also outwardly indeed appear to men just: but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matthew 23:29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, that build the sepulchres of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the just, Matthew 23:30 And say: If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Matthew 23:31 Wherefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the sons of them that killed the prophets. Matthew 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Matthew 23:33 You serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of hell?
and prophesieth of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Matthew 23:34 Therefore behold I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify: and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city. Matthew 23:35 That upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. Matthew 23:36 Amen I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. Matthew 23:37 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not? Matthew 23:38 Behold, your house shall be left to you, desolate. Matthew 23:39 For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth till you say: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.