WHO IS THE BELIEVER'S TEACHER

SOME CONTEND THAT ONLY JESUS IS TO BE YOUR TEACHER, NO ONE ELSE

I) [JUST AS THE PHARISEES AND SCRIBES WERE THE TEACHERS, RULERS AND FATHERS OF THOSE OF ISRAEL AS APPOINTED BY GOD TO TEACH ISRAEL THE LAW OF MOSES AND RULE OVER THEM RELATIVE TO THEIR OBSERVANCE OF IT, SO JESUS WHO IS OUR TEACHER IN THIS CHURCH AGE, HAS APPOINTED OTHERS TO BE OUR - THE BELIEVER'S - TEACHER THROUGH HIM THROUGHOUT THE AGE

A) [Mt 23:1-33]:

(Mt 23:1 NASB) "Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 

(Mt 23:2 NASB) saying: 'The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses;

(Mt 23:3 NASB) therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.

(Mt 23:4 NASB) They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.

(Mt 23:5 NASB) But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.

(Mt 23:6 NASB) They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues,

(Mt 23:7 NASB) and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.

(Mt 23:8 NASB) "[Jesus said], But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher [didaskalos], and you are all brothers [fellow Israelites whom they were abusing].

(Mt 23:9 NASB) Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He Who is in heaven. [and not the Pharisees and scribes, because they were doing the devil's work, their father, (Jn 8:44).

(Mt 23:10 NASB) [Jesus said], But do not be called leaders [teachers][kathegetes]; for One is your [teacher][kathegetes] Leader, that is, Christ.

(Mt 23:11 NASB) But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

(Mt 23:12 NASB) Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.'

(Mt 23:13 NASB) "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

(Mt 23:14 NASB [- note this verse not found in early MSS] Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

(Mt 23:15 NASB) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

(Mt 23:16 NASB) Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.'

(Mt 23:17 NASB) You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold?

(Mt 23:18 NASB) And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.'

(Mt 23:19 NASB) You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering?

(Mt 23:20 NASB) Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it.

(Mt 23:21 NASB) And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it.

(Mt 23:22 NASB) And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it,

(Mt 23:23 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

(Mt 23:24 NASB) You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

(Mt 23:25 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.

(Mt 23:26 NASB) You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

(Mt 23:27 NASB) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

(Mt 23:28 NASB) So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

(Mt 23:29 NASB) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,

(Mt 23:30 NASB) and say, 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'

(Mt 23:31 NASB) So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

(Mt 23:32 NASB) Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.

(Mt 23:33 NASB) You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

(Mt 23:34 NASB) Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city,

(Mt 23:35 NASB) so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

(Mt 23:36 NASB) Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation."

1) [Mt 23:1-3]:

(Mt 23:1 NASB) "Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 

(Mt 23:2 NASB) saying: 'The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses;

(Mt 23:3 NASB) therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.

[The phrase rendered, "Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples," in Mt 23:1 implies that He spoke to a number of crowds as well as His disciples multiple times.

In Mt 23:2-3a which reads, " 'The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe," Jesus emphasizes the authority of the scribes and Pharisees, meaning that they had assumed the position of authority within Israel including the right to judge whether others observed the law correctly - a responsibility of being a spiritual leader and teacher, to teach the Law and observe it faithfully and oversee to the people of Israel that they also observed the Law both temporal and spiritual parts. Since they had this authority, Jesus commanded the people to obey them, just as scripture tells us to obey those appointed over us implying that they were appointed to that authority by God - by Jesus as the Son of God - to represent the Law of Moses which God gave to the Israelites to learn and obey through Moses. So here already we can know that Jesus is not to be our only teacher. Notice that He indicated that they were legitimate teachers to the people of Israel - teachers of the Law of Moses which came from God, hence they were teachers representing God which the people were obligated to learn and observe what they tell them - and set an example to those they ruled over.

Nevertheless, according to Mt 23:3b, which reads, [Jesus said] "but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them," indicates that the behavior of the Pharisees and scribes was suspect even ungodly. According to the Lord Jesus Christ, their deeds were not acceptable hence not to be followed.

Whereupon, Jesus goes on to describe in detail how these men were hypocrites in their behavior as opposed to following the Law of Moses which they were teaching the people of Israel to follow. They demanded that others obey the Law of Moses scrupulously while they themselves gave little regard to it. Their hearts were selfish and egotistical. They ruled the people not out of a agape / self-sacrificial, godly love for God or for justice but merely to gain honor and attention / glory for themselves]

2) [Mt 23:4-7]:

(Mt 23:4 NASB) They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.

(Mt 23:5 NASB) But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.

(Mt 23:6 NASB) They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues,

(Mt 23:7 NASB) and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men."

[In Mt 23:4-7 Jesus indicated that the scribes and Pharisees, teachers of Israel of the Law of Moses, were a poor example of what they were teaching. They do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments - evidently just for show to demonstrate visually how "holy" and "righteous" they are compared with other less prestigious individuals. They loved the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues as well - even expecting to be given such positions of superiority wherever they go. Furthermore, they editorialized the Law of Moses to suit themselves assuring that they would be in positions of privilege; and they added  heavy burdens for the people to carry as if that was what God required of them when the Law actually did not. But they themselves were unwilling to move those false obstacles / burdens that they imposed upon the Law of Moses with so much as a finger. This is especially corroborated in verses 13-36 in which Jesus expresses seven, even eight woes as follows further below ]:

3) [Mt 23:8-12]:

(Mt 23:8 NASB) "[Jesus said], But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher [didaskalos], and you are all brothers.

(Mt 23:9 NASB) Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He Who is in heaven.

(Mt 23:10 NASB) [Jesus said], But do not be called leaders [teachers][kathegetes]; for One is your [teacher][kathegetes] Leader, that is, Christ.

(Mt 23:11 NASB) But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

(Mt 23:12 NASB) Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.' "

So the scribes and Pharisees sought the praises of the people, and they insisted on undue attention in public especially recognition of their authority. Instead of being servants of the people they wanted the people to be servants to them and to give them undeserved glory - the glory which was reserved for God alone. Because of their ungodly behavior, editorializing of the Law of Moses; and teaching a false gospel; and in view of their huge responsibility to God to represent Him in their teaching of the Law of Moses and overseeing of the Israelite people - the chosen people of God, Jesus indicated that they had usurped power not their own. They are not to be called Rabbi, Teacher or Father, for they have usurped those titles reserved solely for the One Who is their Father (God) Rabbi and Leader Jesus Christ.

In view of the points of violation by the scribes and Pharisees made by Jesus in His debate with them in the synagogue; and in view of their utter failure to live up to God's trust in them, it was made evident that the scribes and Pharisees were not serving God's people Israel by properly teaching the Law of Moses to them and serving as an example to His people in Mt 23:4-7 and 13-36. So Jesus commanded them to do three things:

(Mt 23:8 NASB) "[Jesus said], But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher [didaskalos], and you are all brothers.

(Mt 23:9 NASB) Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He Who is in heaven.

(Mt 23:10 NASB) [Jesus said], But do not be called leaders [teachers][kathegetes]; for One is your [teacher][kathegetes] Leader, that is, Christ."

His message was directed toward the scribes and Pharisees, not the church which is not in view; and to serve as a lesson for His disciples. He noted their efforts to seek undue self-exhaltation and undeserved honor before the chosen people of God, and the fact that they demanded to be called Rabbi (meaning teacher), leader (meaning ruler), and father (meaning spiritual father). Note that these titles and Jesus' affirmation of them as such, indicated that these men were to be sources of spiritual wisdom, spiritual authority and spiritual blessing among the people of Israel as Jesus had previously established in Mt 23:2-3a when He said: "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe," implying that each one was indeed a Rabbi (meaning teacher), leader (meaning ruler), and father (meaning spiritual father - relative to the Law of Moses as representatives of God and the Law of Moses. Since Jesus emphasized that He recognized the authority of the scribes and Pharisees, meaning that they had assumed the position of authority within Israel as if they were representing God, which included the responsibility to properly teach and the right to judge whether others observed the Law of Moses to which Jesus declared, giving them the responsibility of being spiritual leaders and teacher, and spiritual fathers to God's people, Israel so they are to teach the Law and observe it faithfully and oversee the people of Israel that they also observed the Law both temporal and spiritual parts. On the other hand, they also were seeking public recognition, self-exhaltation and personal honor reserved for God alone before men - an ungodly activity that Jesus condemned. Whereupon, Jesus spoke to His disciples about being proper, godly servants who are not to exhalt themselves before men especially if they are appointed to rule over and teach others - especially spiritual matters as stipulated in the Law of Moses. Instead they were to exercise godly humility - with the result that they will be exhalted by God in the Eternal Kingdom of God and not by men in the passing temporal life that will only fade away. So the scribes and Pharisees did not properly and with godly humility serve the people with their responsibility to God to represent Him in teaching, ruling and serving God's people Israel relative to the Law of Moses.

Although there is nothing inherently wrong with using the titles of rabbi, teacher, father, leader in everyday, temporal life situations; for we are certainly permitted to address our earth [earthly] father as “father," our 3rd grade math teacher as “teacher,” and our president or prime minister as “leader” / ruler, etc; on the other hand, there are those who contend that Jesus was saying that we may not use these titles in a religious or spiritual context - for that is supposed to be strictly God's domain and no one else's. But according to scripture there are human spiritual fathers, teachers, leaders that God has appointed to be ones father, teacher, leader in spiritual matters.

a) [(Mt 23:1-12) Compare Bible Knowledge Commentary On Mt 23:1-12]:

(Mt 23:1 NASB) "Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 

(Mt 23:2 NASB) saying: 'The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses;

(Mt 23:3 NASB) therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.

(Mt 23:4 NASB) They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.

(Mt 23:5 NASB) But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.

(Mt 23:6 NASB) They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues,

(Mt 23:7 NASB) and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.

(Mt 23:8 NASB) "[Jesus said], But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher [didaskalos], and you are all brothers [fellow Israelites whom they were abusing].

(Mt 23:9 NASB) Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He Who is in heaven. [and not the Pharisees and scribes, because they were doing the devil's work, their father, (Jn 8:44).

(Mt 23:10 NASB) [Jesus said], But do not be called leaders [teachers][kathegetes]; for One is your [teacher][kathegetes] Leader, that is, Christ.

(Mt 23:11 NASB) But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

(Mt 23:12 NASB) Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.' "

 '''23:1-12. The hypocrisy and unbelief of the nation's religious leaders, evidenced in chapter 22 [and Mt 21:42-46 quoted below ), prompted a strong message from Jesus. He turned to the crowds and to His disciples, who were in the temple listening to His debates with the various religious leaders. He warned them about their teachings saying that their authority was to be recognized (they sit in Moses' seat, i.e., they teach the Law), but their practices, being hypocritical, should not be followed. They placed heavy burdens on people but were not righteous themselves (23:4). All their works were performed to be observed by men. Their phylacteries, small leather pouches containing strips of parchment with Old Testament verses (Ex. 13:9,16; Deut. 6:8; 11:18), tied to their left arms and foreheads, were wide and thus conspicuous. And the tassels of their prayer shawls (Num. 15:38) were long and noticeable. They loved places of honor and to be called Rabbi, implying they were scholars. Such was not to be the attitude of Jesus' followers. Titles (such as Rabbi... father... teacher) and position were not to be sought; instead there should be a brotherly relationship among the disciples (Matt. 23:8).

Jesus was not saying there would be no lines of authority among them. But He was emphasizing that service for Him -the one Master (didaskalos, lit., "teacher") and one Teacher (kathēgētēs "an authoritative guide," used only here in the NT) - was more important than human positions of honor. Leadership positions should never be a goal in and of themselves, but should always be viewed as opportunities to serve others. The Pharisees, who exalted themselves, would be humbled, and Jesus' followers, by humbling themselves in service, would someday be exalted.'''

b) [(Mt 23:8-12) Expositor's Bible Commentary On Mt 23:8-12)]:

(Mt 23:8 NASB) "[Jesus said], But [You] do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher [didaskalos], and you are all brothers [fellow Israelites whom they were abusing].

(Mt 23:8 NKJV) "But you, do not be called "Rabbi," for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren [fellow Israelites whom they were abusing].

(Mt 23:9 NASB) Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He Who is in heaven. [and not the Pharisees and scribes, because they were doing the devil's work, their father, (Jn 8:44).

(Mt 23:10 NASB) [Jesus said], But do not be called leaders [teachers][kathegetes]; for One is your [teacher][kathegetes] Leader, that is, Christ.

(Mt 23:11 NASB) But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

(Mt 23:12 NASB) Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.' "

'''8-10 The "you" (v. 8) is emphatic, but this does not mean that vv. 8-10 are out of place in an address before a mixed audience. It is not implausible that out of the crowd Jesus is here speaking primarily [but not necessarily exclusively] to his disciples, just as he later addresses the Pharisees directly (vv. 13-36). A good preacher knows that forthright words about what is required of believers can be at the same time a powerful incentive to decision on the part of the sympathetic but uncommitted. These verses could therefore serve as warning not to follow the "teachers of the law and the Pharisees" while laying down normative patterns for relationships among Jesus' disciples."

[Unlike the religious authorities, Jesus says that His disciples are not to be called "Rabbi" (v. 8), for they have but one didaskalos (better rendered "Teacher" than "Master"). The "one Teacher" is ... Jesus himself (cf. v. 10) [- corroborating that Jesus' words were directed for instruction purposes to His disciples, for the Jewish scribes and Pharisees would have considered their Teacher to be the God of Moses, as opposed to Jesus from which they were given the Law of Moses, which was the preincarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ Himself. For the God of Moses was Jesus as the Son of God exercising His authority over the world Who repeatedly appeared to Moses in preincarnate appearances. Both messages are evidently in view, in view of Mt 22:41-46; 23:4, 13:36. This verse not only proscribes self-exaltation in teaching divine things - especially the scribes and the Pharisees, but it rejects the authority of the religious teachers of Jesus' day because of the manner in which they themselves constantly broke the Law, and mistaught it to their own ends - even taught a false gospel of works salvation, of keeping the Law in order to be saved; yet they demanded undue glory and recognition of the authority of their God appointed positions - Rabbi, teacher, father. So such authority was taken from them because of their ungodly behavior and false teaching: 

(So this passage is not about Jesus being the church's only Teacher but about the disqualification of the scribes and Pharisees as Israel's human teachers!!!!)

i) [Compare Matthew 21:42-46 NASB]:

(Mt 21:42 NASB) '''Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'The Stone Which The Builders Rejected, This Became The Chief Corner Stone; This Came About From The Lord, And It Is Marvelous In Our Eyes'?

(Mt 21:43 NASB) Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.

(Mt 21:44 NASB) And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.

(Mt 21:45 NASB) When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.

(Mt 21:46 NASB) When they sought to seize Him, they feared the people, because they considered Him to be a prophet." '''

[Among those who follow Jesus, a brotherly relationship (see on 5:22-24, 47; 18:15, 21, 35; 25:40; 28:10) is required.]

3 cont) [Mt 23:8-12 cont]:

(Mt 23:8 NASB) [Jesus said], But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher [didaskalos], and you are all brothers.

(Mt 23:9 NASB) Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He Who is in heaven.

(Mt 23:10 NASB) [Jesus said], But do not be called leaders [teachers][kathegetes]; for One is your [teacher][kathegetes] Leader, that is, Christ.

(Mt 23:11 NASB) But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

(Mt 23:12 NASB) Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.' "

b cont) [(Mt 23:8-12) Expositor's Bible Commentary On Mt 23:8-12 cont)]:

(Mt 23:9 NASB) "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He Who is in heaven. [and not the Pharisees and scribes, because they were doing the devil's work, their father, (Jn 8:44).

(Mt 23:10 NASB) Do not be called leaders [teachers][kathegetes]; for One is your [teacher][kathegetes] Leader, that is, Christ.

(Mt 23:11 NASB) But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

(Mt 23:12 NASB) Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.' "

The first verse in view in this section is Mt 23:9 NASB which is rendered "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One  is your Father, He Who is in heaven. So the Pharisees and scribes have been disqualified by Jesus from being Father to the Israelites because they were doing the devil's work, their father, (Jn 8:44), lording it over God's people, teaching heresy - a false works gospel, adding to the Law to satisify their own personal preferences. Notice that the passage moves from being disqualified from being "Rabbi," to extricated as "Teacher" and blocked from being "father" to Israel ...

"On earth" does not mean the "fathers" were alive in Jesus' time but simply contrasts them with the Father in heaven: their domain is not exalted enough to warrant the latter title. This explains the change from the passive ("do not be called," vv. 8, 10) to the active ("do not call [i.e., someone else," v. 9): "do not be called" would be inappropriate since the title was not bestowed till after the teachers of law died and were memorialized. So the revered Jewish fathers have so misinterpreted Scripture that they must not be called "fathers." Therefore Jesus stated, "There is but one Father, God."

But where, then, is the voice of authoritative teaching? Jesus returns to that theme in Mt 23:10 NASB, "Do not be called leaders [teachers][didaskalos]; for One is your Leader, [kathegetes] that is, Christ." completing an A-B-A chiasm. Thus v. 10 largely repeats v. 8, using a different word for "Teacher" [kathegetes] ...; but it is not repetitious, still less anticlimactic, because it ends by identifying the sole Teacher as the Christ, the Messiah... This not only picks up the theme of 1:1 and 16:16 but echoes the confron"tation in 22:41-46 regarding who the Messiah was. Jesus' enemies, the certified teachers of Israel, could not answer basic biblical questions about the Messiah. Now he, Jesus the Messiah, declares in the wake of that travesty that he Himself is the only one qualified to sit in Moses' seat - to succeed him as authoritative Teacher of God's will and mind:

ii) [Mt 22:41-46]:

(Mt 22:41 NASB) '''Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question:

(Mt 22:41 NASB) "What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?" They said to Him, "The son of David.

(Mt 22:41 NASB) He said to them, "Then how does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying,

(Mt 22:41 NASB) 'The LORD said to My LORD, "Sit at My right hand, until I put your enemies beneath your feet.'''?

(Mt 22:41 NASB) If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his son?"

(Mt 22:41 NASB) No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question." '''

Two further observations need to be made. First, it is untrue to Jesus' teaching to deduce from this passage that no Jewish leader was sympathetic to His cause, nor that there is no place for distinctions in roles or respect for leaders in his church, any more than his prohibition of oaths (5:33-37) means it is unchristian to swear on oath in court. Certainly Jesus was not justifying that particularly perverse pride that cloaks itself in discourtesy. Yet once this has been noted, we must say that the risen Christ is as displeased with those in His church who demand unquestioning submission to themselves and their opinions and confuse a reputation for showy piety with godly surrender to his teaching as he ever was with any Pharisee.

Second, the continuing modern discussion as to what these verses show about the structure of Matthew's church finds no valid source here... 

b cont) [(Mt 23:8-12) Expositor's Bible Commentary On Mt 23:8-12 cont)]:

(Mt 23:9 NASB) "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He Who is in heaven. [and not the Pharisees and scribes, because they were doing the devil's work, their father, (Jn 8:44).

(Mt 23:10 NASB) Do not be called leaders [teachers][kathegetes]; for One is your [teacher][kathegetes] Leader, that is, Christ.

(Mt 23:11 NASB) But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

(Mt 23:12 NASB) Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.' "

"11-12 The substance of v. 11 is in 20:26: Matthew repeatedly emphasizes humility. For instances of exalting oneself, see on 20:20-28; of humbling oneself, on 18:4 (cf. Prov 15:33; 22:4; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5-6). "Will be your servant," "will be humbled," and "will be exalted" are pure futures without imperatival force... The principle enunciated in these verses reflects not natural law but kingdom law: the eschatological reward will humble the self-exalted and exalt the self-humbled, after the pattern in Ezekiel 21:26. What is commended is humility, not humbug; service, not servility. The supreme example - the Messiah himself - makes this clear (Mt 20:26-28); for His astonishing humility and service to others was untainted by servility and was perfectly compatible with exercising the highest authority. Having done the greatest service, He has been most highly  exalted."

4) [Mt 23:13-36 Seven Woes]:

(Mt 23:13 NASB) "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

(Mt 23:14 NASB [- note this verse not found in early MSS] Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

(Mt 23:15 NASB) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

(Mt 23:16 NASB) Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.'

(Mt 23:17 NASB) You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold?

(Mt 23:18 NASB) And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.'

(Mt 23:19 NASB) You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering?

(Mt 23:20 NASB) Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it.

(Mt 23:21 NASB) And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it.

(Mt 23:22 NASB) And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it,

(Mt 23:23 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

(Mt 23:24 NASB) You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

(Mt 23:25 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.

(Mt 23:26 NASB) You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

(Mt 23:27 NASB) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

(Mt 23:28 NASB) So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

(Mt 23:29 NASB) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,

(Mt 23:30 NASB) and say, 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'

(Mt 23:31 NASB) So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

(Mt 23:32 NASB) Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.

(Mt 23:33 NASB) You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

(Mt 23:34 NASB) Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city,

(Mt 23:35 NASB) so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

(Mt 23:36 NASB) Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation."

a) [Mt 23:13 Woe One]:

(Mt 23:13 NASB) "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

[Jesus warns the scribes and Pharisees who were in positions of authority and responsibility representing God's teaching and rulership over His chosen people Israel through the Law of Moses. He warned them that instead of living up to their responsibility, they were under God's condemnation. Jesus repeatedly called them the hypocrites that they were because by their false teaching they were shutting off the kingdom of heaven from the people whom they were teaching, evidently by teaching a false means by which one might gain eternal life in the kingdom of heaven through the faithful keeping of the Law of Moses, including all of the editorialized additions they made to God's Word, even rejecting Jesus as the Messiah - the Christ, the sole Source of their salvation through a moment of faith alone. Jesus stated that they themselves would not enter into the eternal kingom of heaven, i.e., they were unsaved because they had not believed only in Jesus as Messiah / Savior, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world, (cf Jn 1:29). Jesus stated that the scribes and Pharisees told those Jewish brethren who were qualified to enter into the kingdom of heaven - who were saved by faith alone in Christ alone apart from the Law - that they were not going into heaven. The scribes' and Pharisees' failure to accept Jesus as Messiah by faith alone had placed a stumbling block in the paths of their brothers - their Israelite countrymen who followed their teaching. For this they stood condemned to eternal condemnation - the reason for Jesus' condemnatory words which implied that they were usurping the position of God which disqualified them from being called Rabbi, or Teacher or Father by their brethren, the people of Israel in Mt 23:8-10:

i) [Compare Mt 23:8-10]:

(Mt 23:8 NASB) "[Jesus said], But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher [didaskalos], and you are all brothers [fellow Israelites whom they were abusing].

(Mt 23:9 NASB) Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He Who is in heaven. [and not the Pharisees and scribes, because they were doing the devil's work, their father, (Jn 8:44).

Mt 23:10 NASB) Do not be called leaders [teachers][kathegetes]; for One is your [teacher][kathegetes] Leader, that is, Christ."

Notice that the Pharisees and scribes had usurped the position of God / Jesus Christ as Rabbi, Teacher and Father especially by editorializing God's Word, even adding to it with false teaching, and perverting the gospel to a false one which condemned themselves and others that followed their teaching, making themselves out to be Rabbi, Leader and Father of God's chosen people. For they lorded it over the Israelites instead of serving them by teaching them the Word of God humbly and truthfully before God as brothers - fellow Israelites. So Jesus rejected the authority of the religious teachers of Jesus' day because of the manner in which they themselves constantly broke the Law yet demanded undue glory and recognition of the authority of their God appointed positions. Such authority has been taken from them because of their ungodly behavior. For there is only one Father, He Who is in heaven; and One Teacher and Leader, that is, Christ Himself Who was there speaking to them. Note that this cannot be interpreted that Jesus was to be the only teacher of the brothers in Christ, the Church, the Body of Christ because the Church is not in view at this time, and He authenticated the responsibilities of the scribes and Pharisees toward Israel and appointed disciples to teach others what He taught them first to Israel and then to the believers of the Church]

b) [Mt 23:14 Another Woe Not Found in Early MSS]:

(Mt 23:14 NASB [- note this verse not found in early MSS] Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

[This verse is not in the earliest manuscripts. It may have been added in later MSS to corroborate Mk 12:38-40 and Lk 20:46-47 which say the same thing. This "woe" demonstrated the inconsistency of the religious leaders for they made long "prayers" to impress people with their spirituality, but also oppressed widows, whom they should have helped.

i) [Compare Mk 12:38-40]:

(Mk 12:38 NASB) "In His teaching He was saying: "Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places,

(Mk 12:39 NASB) and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets,

(Mk 12:40 NASB) who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation."

ii) [Compare Lk 20:46-47]:

(Lk 20:46 NASB) "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets,

(Lk 20:47 NASB) who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation."

c) [Mt 23:15 Woe Two]:

(Mt 23:15 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves."

[As for the converts of whom Jesus was speaking, the Pharisees' teaching locked them into a theological framework that focused on their editorializations of the Law of Moses such that keeping it was tantamount to disqualifying one to receive eternal life because that ruled out faith alone in Jesus the Messiah Savior alone. Therefore there was no possibility of entering the Eternal Kingdom of God. This woe addressed the zealous activity of the religious leaders for they actively traveled not only over land but also over the sea to make even a single convert (prosēlyton "proselyte") to Judaism. The problem with this was that by their actions they were condemning many individuals to eternal damnation. By imposing external restrictions of Rabbinic traditions on their converts, they were preventing these people from seeing the truth. In fact, such a convert became twice as much a son of hell as the Pharisees, that is, he became more pharisaic than the Pharisees themselves! "A son of hell" (lit., "of Gehenna"; cf. v. 33), was one deserving eternal punishment]

d) [Mt 23:16-22 Woe Three]:

(Mt 23:16 NASB) "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.'

(Mt 23:17 NASB) You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold?

(Mt 23:18 NASB) And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.'

(Mt 23:19 NASB) You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering?

(Mt 23:20 NASB) Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it.

(Mt 23:21 NASB) And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it.

(Mt 23:22 NASB) And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.," 

i) [(Mt 23:16-22) The Third Woe - Bible Knowledge Commentary On Mt 23:16-22]:

(Mt 23:16 NASB) "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.'

(Mt 23:17 NASB) You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold?

(Mt 23:18 NASB) And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.'

(Mt 23:19 NASB) You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering?

(Mt 23:20 NASB) Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it.

(Mt 23:21 NASB) And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it.

(Mt 23:22 NASB) And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it,"

"23:16-22. In the third woe Jesus pointed out the tricky character of the leaders. (In the first two woes Jesus spoke of the leaders' effects on others; in the other five woes He spoke of the leaders' own characters and actions). When taking oaths, they made fine lines of distinction that could possibly invalidate their oaths. If one swore by the temple, or by the altar of the temple, it meant nothing to them. While thus appearing to be making a binding oath, they inwardly had no intention of keeping it. But if one swore by the gold of the temple or the gift on the altar, he would be bound by the oath. But Jesus said they were wrong in suggesting that gold was greater than the temple and a gift greater than the altar. Jesus pointed out that any oath based on the temple or things in it was binding for behind the temple was the One who dwelt in it. This was parallel to making an oath by God's throne, for that oath was also binding because of the One who sat on the throne. Such distinctions by the religious leaders were condemned by Jesus, for they were clearly deceptive and dishonest. Jesus denounced those leaders as blind guides (v. 16), blind fools (v. 17), and blind men (v. 19; cf. vv. 24, 26)."

(Mt 23:22 NASB) And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.," 

i_a) [Compare Mt 5:33-37]:

(Mt 5:33 NASB) "Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, 'You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.'

(Mt 5:34 NASB) But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,

(Mt 5:35 NASB) or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is 'The city of the great King.'

(Mt 5:36 NASB) Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.

(Mt 5:37 NASB) But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil."

Note that in Mt 23:20-22 Jesus maintains that all oaths are binding and He does not abolish them. In Mt 5:33-37 it is made clear that all oaths are in some way related to God. All are therefore binding, and thus evasive oaths are not oaths but deserve God's appropriate judgment for lying while making an oath to God one is not intending to keep. So the heart of the issue is telling the truth - and not making evasive oaths that one is not intending upon keeping.

4 cont) [Mt 23:13-36 cont]:

e) [Mt 23:23-24 Woe Four]:

(Mt 23:23 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

(Mt 23:24 NASB) You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!"

In the context of Matthew 23:23-24, Jesus charges the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees with mishandling the Scriptures they claimed to defend and promulgate, but added to it and perverted it instead.

i) [(Mt 23:23-24) The Fourth Woe - Bible Knowledge Commentary On Mt 23:23-24]:

(Mt 23:23 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

(Mt 23:24 NASB) You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!"

"23:23-24. The fourth woe related to the pharisaic practice of meticulously tithing all their possessions. They went so far as to carry the practice down to the smallest spices from plants: mint, dill, and cummin. While meticulously following the Law in this area (Lev. 27:30), they failed to manifest the justice, mercy, and faithfulness demanded by the Law. They were majoring on minors, straining out a gnat, while minoring on majors, swallowing a camel. Being so busy with small details, they never dealt with the important matters. Jesus was not saying tithing was unimportant; He was saying they were completely neglecting the one area at the expense of the other. They should have been doing both. Since they were not, they were blind guides."

ii) [(Mt 23:23-24) The Fourth Woe - Expositor's Bible Commentary On Mt 23:23-24]:

(Mt 23:23 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the Law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

(Mt 23:24 NASB) You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!"

"Fourth woe (23:23-24)
23-24 The OT law on tithing (Deut 14:22-29) specifies grain, wine, and oil, though Leviticus 27:30 is more comprehensive. Certainly in the first century there was debate about how far the law of tithing should extend. The consensus was to include greens and garden herbs (Mt 23:23; SBK, 1:932). Jesus does not condemn scrupulous observance in these things ("without neglecting the former"), but insists that to fuss over them while neglecting the "more important matters of the Law" (cf. 22:34-40) - justice, mercy, and pistis (here rightly translated "faithfulness") - is to strain out a gnat but swallow a camel (23:24) both unclean creatures.

Several points deserve notice.

The "weightier" matters do not refer to the "more difficult" or "harder" but to the "more central," "most decisive" or (as in NIV) "more important" versus "peripheral" or trifling ones...

In essence what Jesus accuses the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees of is a massive distortion of God's will as revealed in Scripture. At a fundamental level, they fail to focus on the thrust of Scripture...

The chiastic structure of the "woes" [in which phrases are repeated in reverse order] centers on the fourth woe, ["You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!"] where the basic failure of the Pharisaic teachers is laid bare. Moving out from this center, it becomes clear that where Scripture is interpreted by the Pharisees, there is danger of misappropriation of truth (woes 3 and 5) and of corrupting other people (woes 2 and 6), coupled with blindness to true revelation when it comes supremely in the person of Jesus the Messiah (woes 1 and 7)...

The current debate over the words "without neglecting the former" - viz., whether they show Jesus or Matthew as a very conservative interpreter of the Law, or whether they can possibly come from the historical Jesus (cf. Garland, p. 140, n. 66; Westerholm, pp. 58f.) - badly misses the point. For neither Jesus nor Matthew do these verses focus on the problem of continuity-discontinuity between the OT and the reign of Jesus Messiah but on the relative importance of material within the OT. Jesus describes what the Pharisees should have done; He is not here questioning how the "former" will relate to the reign He now inaugurates (12:28) or the church He will build (16:19), any more than in 23:16-22 He discusses what role the temple altar plays under the new covenant."

4 cont) [Mt 23:13-36 cont]:

f) [Mt 23:26 Woe Five]:

i) [(Mt 23:25-26) The Fifth Woe - Bible Knowledge Commentary On Mt 23:25-26]:

(Mt 23:25 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.

(Mt 23:26 NASB) You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also."

"23:25-26. The fifth woe emphasized the hypocritical nature of the Pharisees. They were concerned with external cleanliness, such as the outside of the cup and dish from which they would eat. But in their hearts were greed and self-indulgence. Their cleansing was primarily for the sake of being seen by men. But they were not above robbery and excesses in their own lives. If cleansing would take place internally, their outside would also be affected."

ii) [(Mt 23:25-26) The Fifth Woe - Expositor's Bible Commentary On Mt 23:25-26]:

(Mt 23:25 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.

(Mt 23:26 NASB) You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also."

"(e) Fifth woe (23:25-26)

25-26 ... The Pharisees have been occupied with external religion instead of that of the inner person. Within themselves they remain "full of greed and self-indulgence [akrasia, found in the NT only here and in 1 Cor 7:5]." In the metaphor, cleaning the inside is basic and guarantees cleanliness of the outside...

"Blind Pharisee!" ... says the One Who came to save His people from their sin (1:21), "first clean the inside... and then the outside also will be clean." "Inside" does not here encourage privatized pietism but total moral renewal in terms of "justice, mercy, and faithfulness." The "outside," the bits of religious observance easily seen by men, will then take care of itself.

g) [Mt 23:27-28 Woe Six]:

(Mt 23:27 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

(Mt 23:28 NASB) So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."

i) [(Mt 23:27-28) The Sixth Woe Bible Knowledge Commentary On Mt 23:27-28]:

(Mt 23:27 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

(Mt 23:28 NASB) So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."

"23:27-28. In the sixth woe Jesus continued the thought of the previous statement about external purification. The fifth woe stressed their actions; the sixth, their appearances. He called the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees... whitewashed tombs. A custom then was to keep tombs painted white on the outside so they would appear beautiful. But inside the tombs was the decaying flesh of dead people. Similarly, while the Pharisees appeared beautiful on the outside because of their religious conformity, they were corrupt and decaying inside. They were full of hypocrisy and wickedness (anomias, "lawlessness")."

ii) [(Mt 23:28-29) The Sixth Woe Expositor's Commentary On Mt 23:28-29]:

(Mt 23:27 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

(Mt 23:28 NASB) So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."

'''27-28 ... Jesus is saying that the scribes and Pharisees are sources of uncleanness just as much as the whitewashed graves are...

In the context of Matthew 23, the point Jesus is making is ... that in their scrupulous regulations they appeared magnificently virtuous but were actually contaminating the people. This woe parallels the second (v. 15).'''

h) [Mt 23:29-32 Woe Seven]:

(Mt 23:29 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,

(Mt 23:30 NASB) and say, 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'

(Mt 23:31 NASB) So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

(Mt 23:32 NASB) Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers."

i) [(Mt 23:29-32) The Seventh Woe Bible Knowledge Commentary On Mt 23:29-32]:

(Mt 23:29 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,

(Mt 23:30 NASB) and say, 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'

(Mt 23:31 NASB) So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

(Mt 23:32 NASB) Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers."

"23:29-32. The final woe also emphasized the religious leaders' hypocrisy. They spent time building tombs and decorating the graves of the righteous. They were quick to say that if they had lived in the time of the prophets, they would never have been involved in shedding the blood of these righteous men. Jesus knew they were already in the process of planning His death. By that act they would demonstrate they were just like the former generations who murdered the prophets. By rejecting the Prophet, they would be following in the footsteps of their forefathers and "filling up" their ancestors' sin."

ii) [(Mt 23:29-32) The Seventh Woe Expositor's Bible Commentary On Mt 23:29-32]:

(Mt 23:29 NASB) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,

(Mt 23:30 NASB) and say, 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'

(Mt 23:31 NASB) So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

(Mt 23:32 NASB) Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers."

'''(g) Seventh woe (23:29-32)

29-30 ... by erecting monuments the religious leaders thought themselves morally and spiritually above their forebears who had persecuted the prophets whose monuments they were building (v. 29). They believed that they would not have joined their forebears in murdering the prophets (v. 30) - just as many Christians today naively think they would have responded better to Jesus than the disciples or the crowds that cried, "Crucify him!"

31 But the distinction the Jews draw in v. 30 Jesus now denies. Their own saying (not the tomb-building) testifies against them. They speak of their forefathers and so acknowledge themselves to be the sons .... of those who shed the blood of the prophets. ... The Jews think in terms of their physical descent. Jesus responds by saying in effect that they are sons all right - more than they realize. They show their paternity by resembling their fathers. While piously claiming to be different, they are already plotting ways to put an end to Jesus (21:38-39, 46).

32 ... God can only tolerate so much sin; and then, when the measure is "full," he must respond in wrath...'''

4 cont) [Mt 23:13-36 cont]:

i) [(Mt 23:33-36) Conclusion]:

(Mt 23:33 NASB) [Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees] "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

(Mt 23:34 NASB) Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city,

(Mt 23:35 NASB) so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

(Mt 23:36 NASB) Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation."

i) [(Mt 23:33-36) Bible Knowledge Commentary On Mt 23:33-36]:

"23:33-36. In severe language Jesus condemned the religious leaders, calling them snakes and a brood of vipers, whose eternal destiny was hell (lit., "Gehenna"), the place of eternal punishment (cf. v. 15; cf. comments on Gehenna in 5:22). The evidence that they were deserving of hell would be their continual rejection of the truth. The Lord promised to send them prophets and wise men and teachers, but the leaders would reject their words and even kill some and flog and pursue others. Their response to the proclaimed truth would justify the judgment coming on them. Abel was the first righteous martyr mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures (Gen. 4:8) and Zechariah was the last martyr (2 Chron. 24:20-22), 2 Chronicles being last in the Hebrew Bible. (In this statement Jesus attested the Old Testament canon.) In 2 Chronicles 24:20, Zechariah is called the "son of Jehoiada," whereas in Matthew he is the son of Berakiah. "Son of" can mean descendant; thus Jehoiada, being a priest, could have been Zechariah's grandfather. Or Jesus may have had in mind the Prophet Zechariah who was the son of Berakiah (Zech. 1:1). On that generation (genean) of Jews, who were guilty because they were following their blind (Matt. 23:16-17, 19, 24, 26) leaders, would fall God's judgment for their involvement in shedding innocent blood. The Lord was anticipating the nation's continuing rejection of the gospel. Their refusal of the Messiah ultimately led to the destruction of the temple in AD 70"

ii) [(Mt 23:33-36) Expositor's Bible Commentary On Mt 23:33-36]:

(Mt 23:33 NASB) "[Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees] You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

(Mt 23:34 NASB) Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city,

(Mt 23:35 NASB) so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

(Mt 23:36 NASB) Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation."

ii_a) [Compare Lk 11:49-51]:

(Lk 11:49 NASB) "For this reason also the wisdom of God said, 'I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, 

(Lk 11:50 NASB) so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation,

(Lk 11:51 NASB) from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.' "

'''[Mt 33:33] The transition from the preceding verse is clear: if the teachers of the Law and Pharisees are filling up the measure of the sin of their forefathers, how can they possibly escape the condemnation of hell (see on 5:22; 23:15)?

34 ... The differences between Matthew and Luke are noteworthy, though perhaps not quite so problematic as many think. The most noteworthy feature is the change from "the wisdom of God" (NIV, "God in his wisdom") as the sender of the emissaries to an emphatic "I." Not only is there little doubt that Christians identified Jesus with God's wisdom, but he who assigned to himself messianic titles and even OT texts referring exclusively to Yahweh would not have hesitated to make the same identification. Matthew's interpretation is therefore not necessarily wrong, even if a single saying stands behind both Luke and Matthew.

Hare (pp. 87-88) thinks the introductory dia touto ("Because of this," Luke 11:49; "Therefore," Matt 23:34) is drastically altered. In Luke it refers to Lk 11:47-48 a tacit admission of blood-guiltiness for the prophets' death and for which reason "the wisdom of God" sends more prophets so that "this generation" (Luke 11:50) will be accountable. In Matthew, however, Mt 23:32-33 separate the tacit admission from dia touto ("Therefore," v. 34) so that the connective no longer explains God's wisdom in the past but an act Jesus performed in the present. But Hare's contrast is exaggerated. It is formally correct that dia touto in Luke 11:49 explains a statement made in the past by the wisdom of God. But that explains only that a statement was made, not the statement's content - which refers to an act done in the present, viz., Jesus' sending emissaries. Thus the two renderings of dia touto are very close and share the same function: they point out that because of the Jewish leaders' wicked reception of God's messengers, more messengers will "therefore" be sent; and they will be treated the same way. This will fill up the full measure of iniquity, and judgment will fall.

Luke (Lk 11:49) has "prophets and apostles," Matthew "prophets and wise men and teachers." The "wise man" and the "teacher" were "materially identical" (Garland, p. 175; TDNT, 8:505-7) at this time. Both Matthew and Luke here look forward to the sending out of Christian missionaries—disciples of Jesus (cf. Mt 5:10-12; 9:37-38; 28:18-20). The terms used do not reflect post-A.D. 70 terminology (cf. van Tilborg, pp. 140f.)

Matthew adds "crucify." There is no evidence Jews used crucifixion as a mode of capital punishment after 63 B.C. "Crucify" may mean "cause to be crucified" (as in Acts 2:36; 4:10), surely a better possibility than Hare's suggestion (pp. 89-92) that the words "and crucify" are a gloss on what Matthew wrote. Garland (p. 177) holds that "and crucify" refers to Jesus' death. But this, too, requires a causative sense and seems strange when it is Jesus who is sending the emissaries to their deaths and Jesus who is (in this view) among those sent and killed. Perhaps Mt 23:34 echoes 10:24-25: the servant is not above his master. If Jesus is to be crucified, his servants may expect the same.

35 The very messengers who were beaten and killed for calling the people to repentance in the mystery of providence fill up the measure of the peoples' sin (v. 32)—viz., shedding righteous blood of God's emissaries from Abel to Zechariah (cf. Notes). Verse 35 anticipates 27:24-25: Pilate tries to evade responsibility for crucifying Jesus, and the Jews clamor for that same dreadful responsibility because of their skepticism about who Jesus is. On the question of alleged anti-Semitism, see on 26:57-68.

36 All along in this chapter, the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees have been Jesus' primary target. Now the reference is to "this generation," because the leaders represent the people (see on 21:43); and the people, despite Jesus' warnings, do not abandon their leaders for Jesus Messiah. This sets the stage for the concluding lament over Jerusalem (23:37-39).'''

II) POINTS TO CONSIDER

A) POINT #1 IF JESUS IS TO BE ONES ONLY TEACHER, THEN THIS LEAVES ALL BELIEVERS IN THIS AGE WITHOUT HIS PRESENCE AS TEACHER AS HE TAUGHT THE DISCIPLES IN THE FIRST CENTURY. ON THE OTHER HAND HE DECLARED THAT HE WOULD AND DID SEND THE HOLY SPIRIT TO BE THE BELIEVERS' TEACHER IN HIS STEAD, AS WELL AS APPOINTING HUMAN TEACHERS / DISCIPLES TO TEACH AND DISCIPLE OTHERS. SO JESUS IS NOT THE ONLY TEACHER OF THE BELIEVER IN THIS AGE AS SOME CONTEND

If Jesus is to be ones only Teacher, then in this age one does not have Him available to teach one or anyone because His presence as Teacher is not there, but in Heaven. Instead He declared that He has sent the Holy Spirit to be the believer's Teacher in His stead, as well as human teachers.

For Jesus teaching' of His disciples included instructing others what He teaches. These are spiritual matters, not just how to live life in this temporal, physical world. And the disciples of Jesus were instructed to teach others to be disciples of Jesus - again not only on non-spiritual matters, but especially on spiritual matters. If Jesus is not there in a physical sense like He was with His disciples in the 1st century, this leaves no one to instruct others accurately even according to the Bible; or to make disciples of others about spiritual and non-spiritual matters; but especially about spiritual matters. So Jesus is not the only teacher of the believers in this age, as some contend.

Relative to making disciples, Jesus said this:

1) [Mt 28:16-20]:

(Mt 28:16 NASB) "But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.

(Mt 28:17 NASB) When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.

(Mt 28:18 NASB) And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

(Mt 28:19 NASB) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

(Mt 28:20 NASB) teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' "

Notice that to be a disciple is to be a teacher of others.

2) [Compare Lk 12:11-12]:

(Lk 12:11 NASB) "When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say;

(Lk 12:12 NASB) for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." 

It is indicated in Lk 12:11-12 above that Jesus was addressing the disciples and for that matter all believers in this age that they may endeavor to become disciples. For they will have the Holy Spirit to teach them in the very hour that they are defending their faith in Jesus to others - defending the doctrines of the faith.

For upon believing the gospel individuals throughout this age receive the gift of the Holy Spirit as a deposit, (Eph 1:13-14), whose job it is to be that individual's Teacher:

3) [Compare Eph 1:13-14]:

(Eph 1:13 NASB) "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation - having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 

(Eph 1:14 NASB) Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory."

4) [Compare Jn 14:6]:

(Jn 14:6 NASB) "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

So the Holy Spirit becomes the teacher of those to whom Jesus spoke the words of Jn 14:6, and by implication and comparison of the rest of Scripture all believers in the Church Age.

5) [Compare 1 Cor 2:12-16]:

(1 Cor 2:12 NASB) "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit Who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,

(1 Cor 2:13 NASB) which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

(1 Cor 2:14 NASB) But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised

(1 Cor 2:15 NASB) But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.

(1 Cor 2:16 NASB) For 'Who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct him?' [cf Isa 40:13] But we have the mind of Christ."

B) POINT #2 THE RECORDED SAYINGS OF JESUS WERE NOT RECORDED / WRITTEN BY HIMSELF IN SCRIPTURE; BUT BY OTHERS APPOINTED BY HIM TO BE TEACHERS WHO WROTE THE GOSPELS, AND THEY RECORDED THE WORDS OF JESUS NAMELY THE GOSPELS OF MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE AND JOHN - TWO OF WHOM WERE DISCIPLES OF JESUS, NAMELY MATTHEW AND JOHN; AND TWO OF WHOM WERE NOT, NAMELY LUKE AND MARK.

The recorded sayings of Jesus were not recorded / written by Himself in Scripture; but by others who were appointed by Jesus to be teachers and were inspired by the Holy Spirit, who themselves wrote the Gospels - recalling and recording the words of Jesus and the circumstances around Him when He said those words. Even a few lines from Jesus did Paul write in his epistles. So the sayings of Jesus are largely in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - two authors of whom were disciples of Jesus, namely Matthew and John; and two of whom were not, namely Mark and Luke, the latter author who also wrote Acts. So in effect the writers of the gospels represent the teachings of Jesus - extensively quoting what He said and describing the circumstances surrounding those sayings. Hence they have added their own particular accountof what they experienced or what others spoke to them, which required authentication especially by Luke.

C) POINT #3 LUKE AND MARK WERE NOT JESUS' DISCIPLES, YET THEY BOTH QUOTED JESUS' SAYINGS AND THE SURROUNDING CIRCUMCTANCES OF HIS MINISTRY IN A DIDACTIC / EVANGELISTIC / TEACHING CONTEXT TO THE WORLD, EVIDENTLY APPOINTED BY JESUS HIMSELF TO REPRESENT HIM AS TEACHER / EVANGELIST

Note that Luke and Mark were not Jesus' disciples, yet they both quoted Jesus' sayings and the surrounding circumstances of His ministry in a didactic, evangelistic teaching context to the world, evidently appointed by Jesus Himself to represent Him as a teacher / evangelist. There is considerable corroboration of Mark's and Lukes writings by Matthew and John without any contradiction, hence inspired by God the Holy Spirit as Jesus had promised to all believers who were defending the doctrines of the faith. Hence they have added their own particular account of what they experienced or what others spoke to them, which required authentication especially by Luke. They quoted Jesus extensively as teachers of the doctrines of the faith, Luke even testifying favorably about Paul being chosen by Jesus to teach the doctrines of the faith to the Gentiles, in the Book of Acts. And author Luke wrote the Book of Acts and included much about the Apostle Paul, authenticating him as an evangelist / teacher to the world about Jesus Christ, especially to the Gentiles.

D) POINT #4 THE HUMAN WRITERS OF THE GOSPELS AND THE LETTERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WERE IN EFFECT WRITTEN TEACHING TO OTHERS FOR THEY OFTEN QUOTED WHAT JESUS SAID AND DID

The writers of the gospels and the letters of the New Testament were in effect teaching others as they often quoted what Jesus said and did, as well as teaching what is implied what Jesus Christ taught to them, or to others whom they quoted, or from the Holy Spirit via the spiritual gift of Word of Knowledge and Prophecy. Thus indicating that Jesus was not the only teacher to believers in this age.

E) POINT #5 LUKE, A GOSPEL WRITER, BUT NOT ONE OF THE ORIGINAL DISCIPLES OF JESUS WHO ALSO WROTE THE BOOK OF ACTS AND AUTHOR AND APOSTLE PAUL WRITER OF A NUMBER OF EPISTLES BOTH TESTIFIED THAT PAUL WAS INSTRUCTED BY THE RISEN JESUS HIMSELF TO INSTRUCT OTHERS, ESPECIALLY THE GENTILES AND THEIR INSTRUCTIONS WERE NOT TO BE LIMITED TO ONLY WHAT JESUS IS RECORDED AS SAYING IN THE SCRIPTURES

1) [Compare Gal 1:15-20]:

****** EXCERPT FROM GALATIONS CHAPTER ONE ******

 (Gal 1:15-20) [Paul Continued His Defense Of His Apostleship And The Gospel Of God Which Was Taught Him By The Risen Christ, And Which He Preached To The Galatians. He Declared He Was Called By God To Do This Before He Was Even Born, Not Through Anything God Foresaw In Him, But Solely Through God's Grace - To Reveal His Son In Paul, That He Might Preach Christ Among The Gentiles. Paul Did Not Immediately Confer With Flesh And Blood]:

(Gal 1:15 YLT) But when God was ... pleased - having separated me from the womb of my mother, and having called me through His grace -

(Gal 1:16 NASB) to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him [His Son] among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood,

(Gal 1:17 NASB) nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.

(Gal 1:18 NASB) then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days.

(Gal 1:19 NASB) But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother. (Gal 1:20 NASB) (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying)." =

Paul continued his defense of his apostleship and the gospel of God which was taught to him by the risen Christ, and which he preached to the Galatians. He declared he was called by God to do this before he was even born, not through anything God foresaw in him, but solely through God's grace.

Paul indicated that God's calling did reveal God's Son in him in the sense of revelation from God to Paul so that he might know and preach Christ among the Gentiles.

God's revelation of Jesus in Paul was essentially concerning Who Jesus was and what his life, death, and resurrection signified. 

This became so much a part of him, even at this early stage of his Christian experience, that he immediately began to make the revelation of Christ known to others:

a) [Cross Compare Acts 9:19b-20 which book was written by Luke]:

(Acts 9:19b NASB) [After Saul could see again, he was baptized, ate, regained his strength, then] "Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus,

(Acts 9:20 NASB) At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God."

So Paul stated that he did not immediately confer with flesh and blood after his conversion, nor did he go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles in order to receive doctrinal instruction. Instead, he went away to Arabia - evidently when and where he received more of his doctrinal training - in that part of the Arabian desert not too far from Damascus, because he came back to Damascus to preach there. So he evidently received his training in the doctrines of the faith from the risen Jesus Christ (Acts 9:29 NASB) And he [Paul] was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death], and then returned once more to Damascus fully trained / prepared to defend the doctrines of the faith, confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ - which he did in Damascus until his life was threatened and he had to leave. After three years in Damascus, (from his conversion or from his return from Arabia is not stipulated), he went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him for fifteen days - sufficient time for them to get acquainted as the Greek word "histororesai" rendered "to become acquainted with" implies. It is therefore that the two spoke of Christ as He had taught them both, confirming their common understanding of the gospel and other doctrines of the faith. So the primary reason was not for Paul's instruction as some contend. For the point of Paul's argument, it is important to note that his was a private visit to get acquainted and not one designed to secure the support of any human authorities, or receive instruction from them.

Paul's departure from Damascus to Jerusalem was under great duress - the threat of losing his life as a result of contending for the faith against the Jews who lived at Damascus:

b) [Compare Acts 9:22-30 which book was written by Luke]:

(Acts 9:22 NASB) "But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ.

[Contrary to those who contend that Luke's account of Paul's training by the Lord and Paul's account in Gal 1:16-17 are in conflict; there is room here between verses 22 and 23 for Paul's Arabian sojourn in which he received more doctrinal training for a considerable period from the Lord and then "returned once more to Damascus," (Gal 1:17). Luke's account in Acts 9:22-23 allows for the plausibility that Paul went into Arabia to study and ponder God's Word rather than to preach - for a considerable period of time, so that nothing of historical  importance such as the establishment of churches were reported by Paul or Luke during this time, except for the further education of Paul in the doctrines of the faith]

(Acts 9:23 NASB) When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him,

(Acts 9:24 NASB) but their plot became known to Saul. They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death;

(Acts 9:29 NASB) And he [Paul] was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death]

(Acts 9:25 NASB) but [the] disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket.

(Acts 9:26 NASB) When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.

(Acts 9:27 NASB) But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him.

(Acts 9:28 NASB) And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord.

(Acts 9:29 NASB) And he [Paul] was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death]

[Note that in Gal 1:19 Paul stipulated that he did also see James, the Lord's brother - in the sense of a visit, not for instruction. But no one else. Acts 9:26-28 corroborates that Paul did not receive an open reception from those in the Jerusalem church. Nevertheless he spent time speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord to people in Jerusalem, evidencing that he had already learned the doctrines of the faith before he got to Jerusalem]

(Acts 9:30 NASB) But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus."

3) [Compare 2 Cor 11:32-33]:

(2 Cor 11:32 NASB) "In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me [Paul],

(2 Cor 11:33 NASB) and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands."

4) [Compare Gal 1:11-12; 15-16; 16b-17; 17-20]:

Paul Carefully And Repeatedly Made The Point That He Had Not Received His Training From Flesh And Blood, I.E., From Mortal Man:

(Gal 1:11 NKJV) "[For] I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.

(Gal 1:12 NASB) For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ, 

(Gal 1:15 YLT) But when God was ... pleased - having separated me from the womb of my mother, and having called me through His grace -

(Gal 1:16 NASB) to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him [His Son] among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood,

(Gal 1:17 NASB) nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.

(Gal 1:18 NASB) Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days.

(Gal 1:19 NASB) But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother.

(Gal 1:20 NASB) (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying)." =

Notice that in Gal 1:20 Paul remarked that while he was in Jerusalem, he did not see, in the sense of visit with, any other of the apostles except Peter and James, the Lord's brother - in the sense that James was an apostle like Peter; and a familial / flesh and blood brother, born of the same mother as Jesus was - and not just a brother in the faith, as some contend . So there is no indication here relative to Paul's stay in Jerusalem that he received any formal training in the doctrines of the faith from the apostles in Jerusalem. Paul carefully and repeatedly made the point that he had not received his training from any man with his statement, "I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus," (Gal 1:16b-17).

After repeatedly declaring that Paul received his instruction through no man as follows:

"For I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man," (Gal 1:11) =

[Notice that the gospel Paul preached was not something man made up]

"For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ," (Gal 1:12) =

[Furthermore, Paul proclaimed that he was not taught the gospel he preached by any man, but received it by revelation from Jesus Christ Himself]

"But when God was ... pleased - having separated me from the womb of my mother, and having called me through His grace - to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him [His Son] among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood," (Gal 1:15-16) =

[Paul went on to say that God set him apart and called Him to preach the Son among the Gentiles the information of which, Paul repeats was not made available by consulting with any man, (cf. vv. 11, 12). Notice that he had just stipulated in verses 11 & 12 that the information he received re: the gospel was by direct revelation from Jesus Christ Himself and not by or through any man]

"nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus," (Gal 1:17) =

[Relative to how Paul received the information of the message about the Son he was preaching among the Gentiles, Paul testified that he did not go directly to Jerusalem after his conversion implying that none of those in Jerusalem provided the information re: the gospel he was preaching. But instead, he went immediately into Arabia and then returned to Damascus]

"Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days, But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother." (Gal 1:18-19) =

[It is emphatically implied here that Paul was trained in the gospel, during the three year period he spent in Arabia and Damascus immediately after his conversion by revelation from Jesus Christ. Then Paul went to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter, staying with him fifteen days and James the brother of Jesus thereafter. All of this after he had received his training in the doctrines of the faith]

Whereupon in Gal 1:20, Paul goes on to say, "Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying."

F) POINT # 6 JESUS SENT OUT DISCIPLES AHEAD OF HIM TO ISRAEL ALONE TO ANNOUNCE HIS ARRIVAL, TO PREACH THE GOSPEL, TO PROCLAIM THAT THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND, I.E., IMMINENT APPOINTING THEM TO BE TEACHERS AND HEALERS, AS HIS REPRESENTATIVES

Jesus sent out the twelve disciples and then 70 more to preach the gospel exclusively to Israel - to wherever in Israel He was to follow and teach of these things: to preach the gospel, to proclaim that the Kingdom of God is at hand, i.e., its arrival was imminent, and to perform miraculous things such as casting out demons, healing diseases. Hence they were indeed teachers of Israel representing Jesus - serving as teachers and announcing Jesus' arrival to their villages, and cities:

1) [Compare Lk 9:1-11]:

(Lk 9:1 NASB) "And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases.

(Lk 9:2 NASB) And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.

(Lk 9:3 NASB) And He said to them, 'Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece.

(Lk 9:4 NASB) Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. 

(Lk 9:5 NASB) And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.'

(Lk 9:6 NASB) Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. 

(Lk 9:7 NASB) Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was happening; and he was greatly perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead,

(Lk 9:8 NASB) and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen again.

(Lk 9:9 NASB) Herod said, 'I myself had John beheaded; but who is this man about Whom I hear such things?' And he kept trying to see Him.

(Lk 9:10 NASB) When the apostles returned, they gave an account to Him of all that they had done. Taking them with Him, He withdrew by Himself to a city called Bethsaida.

(Lk 9:11 NASB) But the crowds were aware of this and followed Him; and welcoming them, He began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing."

2) [Compare Lk 10:1-16]:

(Lk 10:1 NASB) "Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.

(Lk 10:2 NASB) And He was saying to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

(Lk 10:3 NASB) Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

(Lk 10:4 NASB) Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way.

(Lk 10:5 NASB) Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house.'

(Lk 10:6 NASB) If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.

(Lk 10:7 NASB) Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house.

(Lk 10:8 NASB) Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you;

(Lk 10:9 NASB) and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.'

(Lk 10:10 NASB) But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say.

(Lk 10:11 NASB) 'Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.'

(Lk 10:12 NASB) "I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.

(Lk 10:13 NASB) "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

(Lk 10:14 NASB) "But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you.

(Lk 10:15 NASB) "And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!

(Lk 10:16 NASB) "The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me."

G) POINT #7 - THE FOUR GOSPELS ONLY PROVIDE A SMALL AMOUNT OF WHAT JESUS SAID. THERE EVIDENTLY WERE MANY, MANY MORE THINGS THAT JESUS SAID THAT HAVE NOT BEEN RECORDED

1) [Compare Jn 21:25]:

(Jn 21:25 NASB) "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written."

Furthermore, the gospels were the work of four men who had to recall what Jesus said and then write it down. So we are not getting the direct teachings of our Lord right out of His mouth and in His presence, because He did not write the words down Himself. So we cannot read what He wrote nor hear Him teach them to us today except through human authors whose writings have been copied and translated throughout the centuries. Two of the authors were actually disciples of Jesus and heard His words. But Mark and Luke, who were not disciples did not hear Jesus' words. Those words that they did write down were reported to them by others who witnessed and heard the Lord.

H) POINT #8 - JESUS QUOTED, REFERRED AND TAUGHT FROM NUMEROUS OLD TESTAMENT PASSAGES AUTHENTICATING THE WRITINGS OF OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORS AS WORTHY FOR INSTRUCTING OTHERS

If Jesus is the only teacher we are to listen to, or we are to read only His literal words or in some Bible versions, His words ONLY highlighted in red; does that mean we have to throw out all the surrounding unhighlighted words in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and all other NT letters? Not to mention, throwing out the entire OT as well, since Jesus' words aren't there either except as spoken by men. According to scripture there are to be human spiritual fathers, teachers, leaders that God has appointed to be ones father, teacher, leader to represent Him and to teach His Word.

Jesus quoted and referred to the Old Testament, albeit the Septuagint translation, instructing people – believers, disciples, unbelievers, even hostile Pharisees, i.e., all people of accountable age. Hence the Old Testament passages that He used to teach / instruct from constitute a source / a learning tool not to be limited to only what He specifically stipulated / taught but only limited to an individual's proper reading / interpretation of all of it – whoever one may be of accountable age – Jew even Gentile. For that was His audience. Furthermore, Jesus quoted numerous teachers like Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, etc. who were not Jesus Himself but evidently who represented what Jesus Who is God had to say. In essence they were the teachers of what Jesus had to say, hence Jesus then was not the only teacher as well. So contrary to those who contend otherwise, this cannot mean that believers are limited to what Jesus stipulated and interpreted specifically from the Septuagint translation and no where else in the Scriptures, since Jesus is not present on the earth in the Human form to instruct us today. Note that the Masoretic Hebrew text that was corrected and maintained from the 9th-10th century on which we have preserved today was miraculously preserved with hardly any variances, none of which is notably in error. One wonders if the Hebrew Masoretic Bible is so supernaturally preserved by God, why make it a point of declaring it unworthy of the believer's attention when it is indeed a supernaturally preserved Bible, especially if Jesus often referred to the Old Testament, albeit the Septuagint translation.

I) POINT #9 JESUS RECOGNIZED THAT THERE WERE INDEED HUMAN TEACHERS, THUS REFUTING THE NOTION THAT HE WAS TO BE THE ONLY TEACHER OF SPIRITUAL MATTERS. AS A MATTER OF FACT HE COMMANDED OTHERS TO DISCIPLE OTHERS AND TO BE TEACHERS

1) [Compare Mt 5:19 NKJV]:

(Mt 5:19 NKJV) "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Notice that Jesus does not deny that there were human teachers of the commandments, i.e., the Law of Moses.

2) [Compare Mt 28:18-20]:

(Mt 28:18 NASB) '''And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

(Mt 28:19 NASB) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

(Mt 28:20 NASB) teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'''

J) POINT #10 ALTHOUGH JESUS WARNED THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES OF BEING UNGODLY EXAMPLES AND FALSE TEACHERS OF THE LAW WHICH DISQUALIFIED THEM FROM BEING CALLED RABBI, TEACHER OR FATHER HENCE SUCH AUTHORITY WAS TAKEN AWAY; IT CANNOT BE INTERPRETED THAT JESUS WAS TO BE THE ONLY TEACHER OF THE BELIEVERS IN THE CHURCH BECAUSE THE CHURCH WAS NOT IN VIEW AT THIS TIME

Jesus warns the scribes and Pharisees who were in positions of authority and responsibility representing God's teaching and rulership over His chosen people Israel through the Law of Moses. He warned them that instead of living up to their responsibility, they were under God's condemnation. Jesus repeatedly called them the hypocrites that they were because by their false teaching they were shutting off the kingdom of heaven from the people whom they were teaching, evidently by teaching a false means by which one might gain eternal life in the kingdom of heaven through the faithful keeping of the Law of Moses, including all of the editorialized additions they made to God's Word, even rejecting Jesus as the Messiah - the Christ, the sole Source of their salvation through a moment of faith alone. Jesus stated that they themselves would not enter into the eternal kingom of heaven, i.e., they were unsaved because they had not believed only in Jesus as Messiah / Savior, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world, (cf Jn 1:29). Jesus stated that the scribes and Pharisees told those Jewish brethren who were qualified to enter into the kingdom of heaven - who were saved by faith alone in Christ alone apart from the Law - that they were not going into heaven. The scribes' and Pharisees' failure to accept Jesus as Messiah by faith alone had placed a stumbling block in the paths of their brothers - their Israelite countrymen who followed their teaching. For this they stood condemned to eternal condemnation - the reason for Jesus' condemnatory words which implied that they were usurping the position of God which disqualified them from being called Rabbi, or Teacher or Father by their brethren, the people of Israel in Mt 23:8-10:

1) [Compare Mt 23:8-10]:

(Mt 23:8 NASB) "[Jesus said], But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher [didaskalos], and you are all brothers [fellow Israelites whom they were abusing].

(Mt 23:9 NASB) Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He Who is in heaven. [and not the Pharisees and scribes, because they were doing the devil's work, their father, (Jn 8:44).

(Mt 23:10 NASB) [Jesus said], But do not be called leaders [teachers][kathegetes]; for One is your [teacher][kathegetes] Leader, that is, Christ."

Notice that the Pharisees and scribes had usurped the position of God / Jesus Christ as Rabbi, Teacher and Father especially by editorializing God's Word, even adding to it with false teaching, making themselves out to be Rabbi, Leader and Father of God's chosen people. For they lorded it over the Israelites instead of serving them by teaching them the Word of God humbly and truthfully before God as brothers - fellow Israelites. Jesus rejected the authority of the religious teachers of His day because of the manner in which they themselves constantly broke the Law yet demanded undue glory and recognition of the authority of their God appointed positions. Such authority has been taken from them because of their ungodly behavior and false teaching. For there is only one Father, He Who is in heaven; and One Teacher and Leader, that is, Christ Himself Who was there speaking to them. Note that this cannot be interpreted that Jesus was to be the only Teacher of the brothers in Christ, the Church, the Body of Christ because the Church is not in view at this time]