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Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and his disciples: The religious teachers and the Pharisees are responsible as interpreters of the law of Moses,* so obey them and do everything they tell you. But don't follow what they do, because they don't practice what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens, and place them on people's shoulders, but they themselves don't lift a finger to help them. Everything they do is to make sure they get noticed. They make themselves large prayer boxes to wear and long tassels on their clothes. They love to have the places of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues. They love to be greeted with respect in the market places, and for people to call them, ‘Rabbi.’§
Don't let people call youRabbi.’ Only one is your Master Teacher, and you are all brothers. Don't call anyone by the title ‘Father’ here on earth. Only one is your Father, who is in heaven. 10 Don't let people call youTeacher.’ Only one is your Teacher, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 Those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great.
13 But what a disaster is coming on you, religious teachers and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You slam shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. You yourselves don't go in, yet you don't let anyone in who is trying to enter. 14  * 15 What a disaster is coming on you, religious teachers and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you travel over land and sea to make a single convert, and when you do, you make him twice a son of darkness as you are yourselves. 16 What a disaster is coming on those of you who say, ‘If you swear by the Temple that doesn't count, but if you swear by the gold of the Temple, then you have to keep your oath.’ How foolish and blind you are! 17 What is greaterthe gold, or the Temple that makes the gold holy? 18 You say, ‘If you swear on the altar that doesn't count, but if you swear on the sacrifice that's on the altar, then you have to keep your oath.’ 19 How blind you are! What is greaterthe sacrifice, or the altar that makes the sacrifice holy? 20 If you swear by the altar, you swear by it and by everything that's on it. 21 If you swear by the Temple you swear by it and by the one who lives there. 22 If you swear by heaven you swear by the throne of God and the one who sits there.
23 What a disaster is coming on you, religious teachers and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You pay a tithe of mint, aniseed, and cumin, but you neglect the vital aspects of the lawdoing good, showing mercy, exercising trust. Yes, you should pay your tithe, but don't forget these other things. 24 You blind guidesyou strain what you drink to keep out a fly but then you swallow a camel!
25 What a disaster is coming on you, religious teachers and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside you're full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisees! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, so that the outside will also be clean.
27 What a disaster is coming on you, religious teachers and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like white-washed tombs, looking good on the outside, but on the inside full of skeletons and all kinds of rottenness. 28 You're just the same. On the outside you look like good people to others, but on the inside you're full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
29 What a disaster is coming on you, religious teachers and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs as memorials to the prophets, and decorate the tombs of the good, 30 and you say, ‘If we had lived in the times of our ancestors we would not have joined them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 But by saying this you testify against yourselves, proving that you belong to those who murdered the prophets! 32 So get on with it—finish it all off using your forefathers' methods! 33 You snakes, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of condemnation?§
34 That's why I'm sending you prophets, wise men, and teachers. Some of them you will kill, some of them you will crucify, and some of them you will flog in your synagogues, hunting them from town to town. 35 As a result, you will be held accountable for the blood of all the good people that has been poured out on the landfrom the blood of Abel, who did what was right, to the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom you killed between the Temple and the altar.
36 I'm telling you, the consequences of all this will fall on this generation. 37 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! So often I wanted to gather your children as a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wingsbut you wouldn't let me. 38 Now lookyour house* is left abandoned, totally empty. 39 I tell you this: you won't see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”
 
* 23:2 Literally, “sit in Moses' seat.” 23:5 Or “phylacteries.” These were leather boxes tied to the forehead and arms containing written texts: Exodus 13:1-6 and Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Deuteronomy 11:13-21. 23:5 These tassels were to show their devotion to God. See Numbers 15:37-41. § 23:7 This is a Hebrew word meaning “my great one,” and was used as a term of respect for religious teachers. * 23:14 Verse 14 is not in the most reliable early manuscripts. 23:15 Literally, “Gehenna” (see under 5:22). The emphasis here is the destiny of the wicked. 23:27 Literally, “uncleanness.” § 23:33 Literally, “Gehenna” (see under 5:22). Referring to the end-time judgment. * 23:38 The word house may refer to the Temple. 23:39 Quoting Psalms 118:26.