Matthew 23 - Woes to the Scribes and the Pharisees

 

A. Jesus rebukes the scribes and the Pharisees.

 

1. (1-4) They lay oppressive burdens on others.

 

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."

 

a. Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples: Jesus spoke to these groups, but He spoke about the scribes and Pharisees. Of course, these hardened opponents of Jesus listened; but in a sense Jesus was finished speaking to them. Instead he intended to warn the people and His followers about them.

 

i. "The true target of the whole discourse is the crowds and disciples who need to break free from Pharisaic legalism." (France)

 

ii. "Perhaps a year earlier Jesus had begun to denounce the Pharisees (Matthew 15:7). Subsequently he warned his disciples of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:5-12). Now his warning and denunciations are public." (Carson)

 

iii. According to William Barclay, the Talmud describes seven different types of Pharisees; six of the seven are bad.

 

·        The Shoulder Pharisee, who wore all his good deeds and righteousness on his shoulder for everyone to see.

·        The Wait-a-Little Pharisee, who always intended to do good deeds, but could always find a reason for doing them later, not now.

·        The Bruised or Bleeding Pharisee, who was so holy that he would turn his head away from any woman seen in public - and was therefore constantly bumping into things and tripping, thus injuring himself.

·        The Hump-Backed Pharisee, who was so humble that he walked bent over and barely lifting his feet - so everyone could see just how humble he was.

·        The Always-Counting Pharisee, who was always counting up his good deeds and believed that he put God in debt to him for all the good he had done.

·        The Fearful Pharisee, who did good because he was terrified that God would strike him with judgment if he did not.

·        The God-Fearing Pharisee, who really loved God and did good deeds to please the God he loved.

 

b. Whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do: Jesus said that respect was due to the scribes and the Pharisees; not because of their conduct, but because they sit in Moses' seat. They should be respected because they hold an office of authority, ordained by God.

 

i. "Let not the law of God lose its authority with you because of these wicked men." (Poole)

 

ii. Moses' seat: "Synagogues had a stone seat at the front where the authoritative teacher [sat]." (Carson) "The Jews spoke of the teacher's seat as we speak of a professor's chair." (Bruce)

 

c. They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders: The scribes and Pharisees were bad examples because they expected more of others than they did of themselves. They set heavy burdens on others, yet they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

 

d. Heavy burdens: The burden of the religious leaders contrasts sharply to Jesus' burden. His burden is light, and His yoke is easy (Matthew 11:30). These religious leaders were burden bringers; Jesus was a burden taker.

 

i. The first accusation against these religious leaders could apply to many religious leaders today. Many teach as if the essence of Christianity were a set of burdensome rules to follow.

 

ii. The early church rejected this legalism when it insisted that obedience to the Mosaic Law is not a foundation for the Christian life. Peter told the legalists in Acts 15:10: "Why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

 

2. (5-10) They do their works to be seen, and they live for the praise of men.

 

"But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, 'Rabbi, Rabbi.' But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ."

 

a. All their works they do to be seen by men: The religious leaders were guilty of advertising their righteous deeds. They acted out the religious spirit Jesus spoke against in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:1-6).

 

b. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments: Both the phylacteries (small leather boxes with tiny scrolls with scriptures on them, tied to the arm and head with leather straps) and the borders of their garments were worn in the attempt to conform to the Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 11:18, Numbers 15:38-40).

 

i. "These were called phylacteries, from [the ancient Greek word], to keep, things wherein the law was kept." (Poole)

 

ii. It was natural for these religious leaders to believe that broader phylacteries and larger borders on their garments showed them to be more spiritual. The idea of wearing the phylacteries and the special borders of their garments was obedience to what God commanded Israel under the covenant given at Mount Sinai. The use of those things to promote an image of super-spirituality was the fault of human sinfulness, not of the command itself.

 

c. They love the best places…greetings in the marketplaces: Not content to display their supposed spirituality, the religious leaders loved it when people admired their supposed spirituality. They coveted the seats of honor at banquets and at the synagogue, and they loved the honoring titles such as Rabbi and father.

 

i. "There is therefore an emphasis to be put upon the word love; they might take salutations, and the upper rooms, if offered them as their due, for keeping civil order, but not affect them." (Poole)

 

d. But you, do not be called "Rabbi"; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren: Jesus warned the people that they should not imitate the scribes and the Pharisees at this point. His followers should always remember that "you are all brethren" and that one should not be exalted above others by titles that are either demanded or received.

 

i. "An exhortation which today's church could profitably take more seriously, not only in relation to formal ecclesiastical titles ('Most Reverend', 'my Lord Bishop', etc.), but more significantly in its excessive deference to academic qualifications or to authoritative status in the churches." (France)

 

e. Do not be called "Rabbi"…Do not call anyone on earth your father…do not be called teachers: Jesus warned His listeners and us against giving anyone inappropriate honor. One may have a father or teachers in a normal human sense, but should not regard them in a sense that gives them excessive spiritual honor or authority.

 

i. "In the Church of Christ, all titles and honors which exalt men and give occasion for pride are here forbidden." (Spurgeon)

 

ii. From the rest of Scripture, we can see that Jesus did not intend this as an absolute prohibition, rather as speaking to the heart that loves, collects, and cherishes such titles. We know this because, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, godly men spoke of themselves with some of these titles.

 

·        Jesus was called Rabbi: Matthew 26:25 and 26:49; John 1:38 and 3:26.

·        Paul called himself a father: 1 Corinthians 4:15, Philippians 2:22.

·        Paul called other Christians his children: Galatians 4:19.

·        Paul called himself a teacher: 1 Timothy 2:7, 2 Timothy 1:11.

 

iii. "That which he forbids is, 1. An affectation of such titles, and hunting after them. 2. Rom tituli, the exercise of an absolute mastership, or a paternal, absolute power." (Poole)

 

iv. Nevertheless, this command is often ignored and violated today in the way people give and receive titles such as prophet, apostle, most reverend, and so on. It is also seen in the expected etiquette for closing a letter to the Pope: "Prostrate at the feet of Your Holiness and imploring the favor of its apostolic benediction, I have the honor to be, Very Holy Father, with the deepest veneration of Your Holiness, the most humble and obedient servant and son/daughter."

 

v. "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 teachings as he ever was with any Pharisee." (Carson)

 

3. (11-12) The way of Jesus: service and humility.

 

"But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

 

a. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant: Normally, people estimate greatness by how many people serve and honor them. Jesus reminded His followers that in His kingdom it should be different, and that we should estimate greatness by how we serve and honor others.

 

i. "In a word, like all their successors in spirit to the present day, they were severe to others, but very indulgent to themselves." (Clarke)

 

ii. Since Jesus truly was the greatest among them, He spoke of Himself as a servant. It is unfortunate that many of the followers of Jesus imitate the leadership philosophy and style of the scribes and Pharisees more than the style of Jesus.

 

b. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted: This promise is absolutely true, but sometimes is only known in the measure of eternity.

 

B. The eight woes to the religious leaders.

 

These woes stand in contrast to the eight beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-11. Jesus spoke harshly here, yet this was not the language of personal irritation but of divine warning and condemnation. "Such series of 'woes' are familiar from the Old Testament prophets (e.g. Isaiah 5:8-23; Habakkuk 2:6-19), where the tone is of condemnation, and that is the emphasis here too." (France)

 

1. (13) Woe to those who shut up the kingdom.

 

"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in."

 

a. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Literally, the word "hypocrites" refers to an actor, someone playing a part. Jesus exposed the corruption covered by the spiritual image of the scribes and Pharisees.

 

b. You shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: The religious leaders kept people from the kingdom of heaven by making human traditions and human religious rules more important than God's Word. This was clearly seen in the way that they opposed and rejected Jesus; if they had opened the kingdom of heaven to men, they would have welcomed and received Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God.

 

i. "It was written of old, that the priest's lips should preserve knowledge: God that committed the key of knowledge to the ministers and guides of his church, not that they should take it away, but that the people might seek the law of their mouths, because they are the messengers of the Lord of hosts, Malachi 2:7." (Poole)

 

c. You neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in: It is bad for someone not to enter into heaven themselves, but it is far worse to prevent another person from entering in (Matthew 18:6).

 

i. "In ancient times the rabbins carried a key, which was the symbol or emblem of knowledge." (Clarke)

 

2. (14) The religious leaders steal from the vulnerable.

 

In many translations of the Bible this verse is not included or in the margin. D.A. Carson writes: "Verse 14 must be taken as an interpolation...This is made clear, not only by its absence from the best and earliest Matthew MSS, but from the fact that the MSS that do include it divide on where to place it - before or after verse 13." Even if it does not belong in Matthew 23, it is certainly present in the Mark 12 and Luke 20 passages.

 

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation."

 

a. You devour widows' houses: Using clever and dishonest dealing, the scribes and Pharisees stole widows' houses - careful to cover it up in the name of good business or stewardship.

 

b. For a pretense make long prayers: Their long, falsely spiritual prayers were used to build a spiritual image, often for the sake of big donations.

 

i. "He respecteth not the arithmetic of our prayers, how many they are; nor the rhetoric of our prayers, how eloquent they are; nor the music of our prayers, the sweetness of our voice, nor the logic of our prayers, or the method of them, but the divinity of our prayers is that which he so much esteemeth." (Trapp)

 

c. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation: The greatness of their sin demanded a greater condemnation than others will endure. Under this concept we can say that no one will have it good in Hell, but we can trust that some will have it worse than others will.

 

i. "These words prove that there are degrees of punishment, as there are gradations in glory. All the ungodly will be judged and condemned by the Righteous Judge, but 'the greater condemnation' will be reserved for the hypocrites." (Spurgeon)

 

3. (15) The religious leaders led their converts on the wrong path.

 

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves."

 

a. You travel land and sea to win one proselyte: Their zeal in evangelism did not prove they were right with God. These religious leaders went to great lengths to win others, but they brought people to darkness, not light.

 

i. Paul had the same idea in Romans 10:2 where he observed that some of the Jewish people of his day had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

 

ii. "The word proselyte is an English transliteration of a Greek word proselutos, which means one who has approached or drawn near. The proselyte was the full convert who had accepted the ceremonial law and circumcision and who had become in the fullest sense a Jew." (Barclay)

 

iii. "A sizable body of scholarship convincingly argues that the first century a.d. till the Fall of Jerusalem marks the most remarkable period of Jewish missionary zeal and corresponding success." (Carson)

 

b. When he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves: Through their great energy they could win some, but to no lasting good to those who were won.

 

i. "Their business was not to turn men from sin unto God, but merely to convert them to an opinion." (Poole)

 

ii. In this respect, the religious leaders were similar to Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses today. They were courageous and energetic messengers, but with a false message.

 

iii. "Jesus did not criticize the fact of the Pharisees' extensive missionary effort but its results…they 'out-Phariseed' the Pharisees." (Carson)

 

4. (16-22) The religious leaders made false and deceptive oaths.

 

"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.' Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.' Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it."

 

a. Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing: Out of obedience to God's Word they refused to swear by the name of God (as commanded in Exodus 20:7). Yet they constructed an elaborate system of oaths, some of which were binding and some were not. It was a way of making a promise while keeping fingers crossed behind one's back.

 

i. "To the Jew an oath was absolutely binding, so long as it was a binding oath. Broadly speaking, a binding oath was an oath which definitely and without equivocation employed the name of God; such an oath must be kept, no matter what the cost. Any other oath might be legitimately broken." (Barclay)

 

b. For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Here Jesus emphasized that the altar itself is greater than the sacrifice made upon it. The altar is the established meeting place between God and man, and our altar is Jesus Himself and His work on the cross.

 

i. Having never been separated from God the Father by sin, Jesus Himself needed no altar. He had a free and glorious relationship with His Father. It was the freedom of Adam before the fall - or even more so, because Jesus had a history of relationship with His Father that Adam did not know.

 

ii. It is worthy to think of the greatness of the Old Testament altar:

 

·        The purpose of the altar is significant: it sanctified what was put upon it, and it sustained and bore up the sacrifice until it was consumed.

·        The location of the altar is significant: it shows that we come to Jesus and His atoning work first.

·        The shape of the altar is significant: it is square and perfectly proportioned, stable and unshakeable.

·        The horns of the altar are significant: they show the power of God inherent in Jesus.

·        The position of the altar is significant: it is not raised, but is low enough for all to approach; it has no steps that would reveal human flesh.

·        The appearance of the altar is significant: it is smeared with the blood of sacrifice.

·        The material of the altar is significant: it is brass, forged in the fire and able to endure the judgment of the flames.

 

c. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it: Jesus reminded them that every oath is binding and God holds the oath-maker to account, even if they excuse themselves.

 

5. (23-24) The religious leaders are obsessed with trivialities, and ignoring the weighty matters.

 

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!"

 

a. You pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin: Their tithing was meticulous and noteworthy; but hypocritical because it served to sooth the guilt of their neglect of the weightier matters of the law. It is both possible and common to be distracted with relatively trivial matters while a lost world perishes.

 

i. "The 'weightier' matters do not refer to the 'more difficult' or 'harder' but to the 'more central,' 'most decisive.'" (Carson)

 

ii. Jesus gave a cursory description of these weightier matters of the law with the words, justice and mercy and faith. "This phrase recalls the summary of true religion (in contrast to extravagant sacrifice) in Micah 6:8." (France)

 

b. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel: Jesus illustrated their folly with a humorous picture of a man so committed to a kosher diet that he would not swallow a gnat because it was not bled properly in accord with kosher regulations. Yet the same man would swallow a whole camel instead.

 

i. "This is a humorous picture which must have raised a laugh, of a man carefully straining his wine through gauze to avoid swallowing a microscopic insect and yet cheerfully swallowing a camel. It is the picture of a man who has completely lost his sense of proportion." (Barclay)

 

6. (25-26) The religious leaders are impure both inside and out.

 

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also."

 

a. You cleanse the outside of the cup: The scribes and Pharisees were satisfied with a superficial cleansing and the appearance of righteousness.

 

b. Inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence: While greatly concerned with their outward appearance of righteousness, they were unconcerned with an inside full of sin and corruption.

 

c. First cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also: Jesus did not call them to choose between outer righteousness and inner righteousness. He called them to be concerned with both, but to first address the inside. True outward righteousness starts on the inside.

 

7. (27-28) The religious leaders have the appearance of good, but without spiritual life in the inner man.

 

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."

 

a. You are like whitewashed tombs: It was the custom of the Jews of that time to whitewash the tombs in the city of Jerusalem before Passover so that no one would touch one accidentally, thus making themselves ceremonially unclean. Jesus said these religious leaders were like these whitewashed tombs - pretty on the outside, but dead on the inside.

 

i. So Paul called the High Priest a whitewashed wall in Acts 23:3.

 

b. You also outwardly appear righteous to men: Men might see them as righteous, but God did not. God is never fooled by what we show on the outside. He sees what we actually are, not what we appear to be to other men.

 

8. (29-36) The religious leaders honor dead prophets, but murder the living prophets.

 

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.' Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers' guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, 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, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation."

 

a. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous: They professed to venerate dead prophets but they rejected living prophets. In doing so they showed that they really were the children of those who murdered the prophets in the days of old (you are sons of those who murdered the prophets).

 

i. We express the same thought when we think. "I wouldn't have denied Jesus like the other disciples did."

 

b. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers' guilt: Jesus prophesied about how these leaders would complete the rejection of the prophets their fathers began by persecuting His disciples, whom He would send to them.

 

i. "No amount of argument can rob these words of their terrible import. They stand upon the page for evermore speaking to us of 'the wrath of the Lamb.'" (Morgan)

 

ii. "This is one of the most terrible sentences that ever fell from Christ's lips. It is like his message to Judas, 'That thou doest, do quickly'…This crowning sin would fill up the measure of their fathers' guilt and bring down upon them the righteous judgment of God." (Spurgeon)

 

c. Serpents, brood of vipers: This phrase has the idea of "family of the devil." These religious leaders took an unmerited pride in their heritage, thinking they were spiritual sons of Abraham. Instead, they were more like sons of the devil, not of Abraham.

 

i. Jesus spoke so strongly about these religious leaders for two reasons. First, He did not want others to be deceived by them. Second, He loved these men. These men were the farthest from God and they needed to be warned of coming judgment. What Jesus really wanted was their repentance, not their judgment.

 

d. From the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah: Jesus here spoke of all the righteous martyrs of the Old Testament. Abel was clearly the first, and in the way that the Hebrew Bible was arranged, Zechariah was the last. 2 Chronicles is the last book of the Hebrew Bible, and Zechariah's story is found in 2 Chronicles 24.

 

i. Abel's blood cried out (Genesis 4:10), and Zechariah asked that his blood be remembered (2 Chronicles 24:22).

 

ii. There is a problem with the description of Zechariah as the son of Berechiah, because the 2 Chronicles text describes him as the son of Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 24:20). Clarke summarizes the best resolutions to this problem. First, that double names were frequent among the Jews (1 Samuel 9:1 and 1 Chronicles 8:33; Matthew 9:9 and Mark 2:14, and other examples as well). Second, that the names Jehoiada and Berechiah have much the same meaning: the praise or blessing of Jehovah.

 

iii. "One can almost feel the withering force of His strong and mighty indignation - indignation directed, not against the people, but against their false guides. And yet behind it all is His heart, and the 'woes' merge into a wail of agony, the cry of a mother over her lost child." (Morgan)

 

9. (37-39) Jesus laments for Jerusalem.

 

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"

 

a. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem: Luke 19:41 tells us that Jesus wept as He looked over the city of Jerusalem, thought about its coming judgment, and said these words. Jesus wanted to protect them from the terrible judgment that would eventually follow their rejection of Him.

 

i. It is written that Jesus wept two times: here, at the pain of knowing what would befall those who reject Him; and also at the tomb of Lazurus, weeping at the power and pain of death.

 

ii. This heartfelt cry is another way to see that Jesus didn't hate these men He rebuked so strongly. His heart broke for them. When we sin, God does not hate us; He genuinely sorrows for us, knowing that in every way our sin and rebellion only destroys our life. We should hope to share God's sorrow for lost humanity.

 

b. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings: Jesus wanted to protect, nourish, and cherish His people the Jews, even as a mother bird protects the young chicks.

 

i. "The image of a hen (Greek is simply 'bird') protecting its young is used in the Old Testament for God's protection of his people (Psalm 17:8; 91:4; Isaiah 31:5; etc.)." (France)

 

ii. This picture of a hen and her chicks tells us something about what Jesus wanted to do for these who rejected Him.

 

·        He wanted to make them safe.

·        He wanted to make them happy.

·        He wanted to make them part of a blessed community.

·        He wanted to promote their growth.

·        He wanted them to know His love.

·        This could only happen if they came to Him when He called.

 

iii. "Jesus' longing can only belong to Israel's Savior, not to one of her prophets." (Carson)

 

iv. The words how often I wanted are a subtle indication that Matthew knew Jesus had visited Jerusalem many times before (as clearly recounted in the Gospel of John), even though he only mentions this last visit. "Jesus could not have said what he says here unless he had paid repeated visits to Jerusalem and issued to the people repeated appeals." (Barclay)

 

c. But you were not willing! The problem was not the willingness of Jesus to rescue and protect them; the problem was that they were not willing. Therefore the predicted destruction would come upon them.

 

i. "What a picture of pity and disappointed love the King's face must have presented when, with flowing tears, he uttered these words!" (Spurgeon)

 

ii. "We hold tenaciously that salvation is all of grace, but we also believe with equal firmness that the ruin of man is entirely the result of his own sin. It is the will of God that saves; it is the will of man that damns." (Spurgeon)

 

iii. In a wonderful sermon on this text (I Would; But Ye Would Not), Spurgeon described the kind of will that does come to Jesus.

 

·        It is a real will.

·        It is a practical, doing will.

·        It is an immediate will.

·        It is a settled will.

 

d. You shall see Me no more till you say, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" Jesus here revealed something of the conditions surrounding His Second Coming. When Jesus comes again, the Jewish people will welcome Him as the Messiah saying, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"

 

i. "Till after the fulness of the Gentiles is brought in, when the word of life shall again be sent unto you; then will ye rejoice, and bless, and praise him that cometh in the name of the Lord, with full and final salvation for the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Clarke)

 

ii. It will take a great deal to bring Israel to that point, but God will do it. It is promised that Israel will welcome Jesus back, even as the Apostle Paul said in Romans 11:26: And so all Israel will be saved.

 

 

©2013 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission