Do not imitate the teachers of the Law
46(Lk 20:45; Mk 12:38)
1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
2 “The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees sat on the seat of Moses. 3 So you shall do and observe all they say, but do not do as they do, 4 for they do not do what they say. They tie up heavy burdens and load them on the shoulders of the people, but they do not even raise a finger to move them. 5 They do everything in order to be seen by people; so they wear very wide bands of the Law around their foreheads, and robes with large tassels. 6 They enjoy the first place at feasts and reserved seats in the synagogues, 7 and being greeted in the marketplace and being called ‘Master’ by the people.
8 But you, do not let yourselves be called Master because you have only one Master, and all of you are brothers and sisters. 9 Neither should you call anyone on earth Father, because you have only one Father, he who is in heaven. 10 Nor should you be called leader, because Christ is the only lead er for you. 11 Let the greatest among you be the servant of all. 12 For whoever makes himself great shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be made great.”
Seven woes for the Pharisees
13 Therefore, woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door to the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor do you allow others to do so.
14 Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! 15 You travel by sea and land to win a single convert, yet once he is converted, you turn him twice as fit for hell as yourselves.
16 Woe to you, blind guides! You say: To swear by the Temple is not binding, but to swear by the treasure of the Tem ple is. 17 Blind fools! Which is of more worth? The gold in the Temple or the Tem ple which makes the gold a sacred treasure? You say: 18 To swear by the altar is not binding, but to swear by the offering on the altar is. 19 How blind you are! Which is of more value: the offering on the altar or the altar which makes the offering sacred? 20 Whoever swears by the altar is swearing by the altar and by everything on it. 21 Whoever swears by the Temple is swearing by it and by God who dwells in the Temple. 22 Who ever swears by heaven is swearing by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.
23 Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You do not for get the mint, anise and cumin seeds when you pay the tenth of everything, but then you forget what is most fundamental in the Law: justice, mercy and faith. These you must practice, without neglecting the others. 24 Blind guides! You strain out a mosquito, but swallow a camel.
25 Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You fill the plate and the cup with theft and violence, and then pronounce a blessing over them. 26 Blind Phari see! Purify the inside first, then the outside too will be purified.
27 Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs beautiful in appearance, but inside there are only dead bones and uncleanness. 28 In the same way you appear as religious to others, but you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness within.
29 Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous. 30 You say: Had we lived in the time of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in the blood of prophets. 31 So, you yourselves confess to be kins of those who murdered the prophets. 32 And now, finish off what your ancestors began!
33 Serpents, race of vipers! How can you escape condemnation to hell? 34 And so I am sending you prophets, sages and teachers, but you will murder and crucify them, and flog others in the synagogues or drive them from one city to another.
35 Because of this you will be accountable for all the innocent blood that has been shed on the earth, from the blood of upright Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the altar and the Sanctuary. 36 Truly, I say to you: the present generation will pay for all this.
37 Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You murder the prophets and stone those sent to you by God. How often would I have gathered your children together, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you re fused! 38 Now you will be left with an empty Tem ple. 39 I tell you that you will no longer see me until you say: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”