Matthew 23:1-39 Questions by Stephen Ricker
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Seven Woes
Questions for Study 28

Matthew 23:1-39
Key Verse: 37


I. "Woe To You!" (1-36)

1. To whom is Jesus speaking? Why must they obey the Pharisees and teachers of the law? Why must they not emulate them? How do they burden God's people?

2. How did the religious leaders show off? How did they miss the point of phylacteries and tassels? (cf. Deut. 6:8; Nu. 15:37-39) What else do they love? (6-7) How must Jesus' disciples be different? Why?

3. To whom does Jesus say "Woe to you"? What are the first two "woes"? (13-15) How are they related? How did the Pharisees' teaching shut the door of the kingdom of heaven? How could the door be opened?

4. Why does he call them "blind guides"? (16-22) How did their vow-making show their materialism and greed?

5. Read the fourth "woe." (23-24) How did thier petty concerns further reveal their spiritual blindness? What does it mean to strain out a gnat and swallow a camel?

6. Read verses 25-26 for the fifth "woe." What makes the "inside dirty"? What does it mean to "clean the outside of the cup"? Look at the sixth "woe". (27-28) How does a whitewashed tomb portray the spiritual corruption of the Pharisees?

7. Because of their pride and eagerness to defend themselves, what did the Pharisees admit about themselves? (See the seventh "woe") (29-32)

8. Notice the strong language Jesus uses in verses 33-36. Why does he use such strong words? Why did God send wise men and prophets? Who were the righteous martyrs Jesus mentions? What happens to those who persecute the servants of God?

II. Jesus Laments Over Jerusalem (37-39)

9. Read verses 37-39. Think about God's original purpose for Jerusalem. (cf. Isa. 2:1-3) How had God tried to turn them to himself to be blessed and, and in turn, to become a blessing? How had they responded?

10. How did Jesus express his own deep love and longing for God's people? (Compare with King David in 2 Sa. 18:33) What was in Jesus' heart? What did he mean in verses 38-39? Why is it such a serious matter to reject God's love?