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 multitude, and to his disciples, Matthew 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses's seat. Matthew 23:3 All therefore, whatever they bid you observe, [that] observe and do: but do not ye according to their works: for they say, and do not. Matthew 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne, and lay [them] on men's shoulders; but they [themselves] will not move them with one of their fingers.
His disciples must beware of their ambition.
Matthew 23:5 But all their works they do to be seen by men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, Matthew 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, Matthew 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called by men, Rabbi, Rabbi. Matthew 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren. Matthew 23:9 And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, [even] Christ. Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you, shall be your servant. Matthew 23:12 And whoever shall exalt himself, shall be abased; 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! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering, to go in. Matthew 23:14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Matthew 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him two-fold more the child of hell than yourselves. Matthew 23:16 Woe to you, [ye] blind guides, who say, Whoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor. Matthew 23:17 [Ye] fools, and blind: for which is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? Matthew 23:18 And whoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Matthew 23:19 [Ye] fools, and blind: for which [is] greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Matthew 23:20 Whoever therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things upon it. Matthew 23:21 And whoever shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth in it. Matthew 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth upon it. Matthew 23:23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier [matters] of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ye ought to have done, and not to leave the others undone. Matthew 23:24 [Ye] blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel. Matthew 23:25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Matthew 23:26 [Thou] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Matthew 23:27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like whitened sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness. Matthew 23:28 Thus ye also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matthew 23:29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, 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 ye are witnesses to yourselves, that ye are the children of them who killed the prophets. Matthew 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Matthew 23:33 [Ye] serpents, [ye] generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
and prophesieth of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Matthew 23:34 Wherefore behold, I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and [some] of them ye will kill and crucify, and [some] of them ye will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute [them] from city to city: Matthew 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel, to the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Matthew 23:36 Verily I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them who are sent to thee, how often would I have gathered thy children, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would not! Matthew 23:38 Behold, your house is left to you desolate. Matthew 23:39 For I say to you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord.