Then Yeshua addressed the crowds and his talmadim; "The Torah-teachers and the P'rushim," He said, "sit in the seat of Moshe. So whatever they tell you take care to do it. But don't do what they do, because they talk abut don't act! They tie heavy loads onto peoples shoulders but won't lift a finger to help carry them. Everything they do is done to be seen by others; for they make their t'fillin broad and their tzitziyot long. They love the place of honor at banquets and the best east in the synagogues, and they love being greeted differentially in the market places and being called 'Rabbi'But you are not to let yourselves be called 'Rabbi'; because you have one Rabbi, and you are all each others brothers. And do not call anyone on earth 'Father' because you have one Father, and he is in Heaven. Not are you to let yourselves be called 'leaders,' because you have one Leader and he is the Messiah! The greatest among you will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be promoted.But woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P'rushim! for you are shutting the Kingdom of Heaven in peoples faces, neither entering yourselves now allowing those who wish to enter to do so.Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P'rushim! You go about over land and sea to make one proselyte; and when you succeed you make him twice as fit for Gei-Hinnom as you are!Woe to you, you blind guides! You say, 'If someone swears by the Temple, he is not bound by his oath; but if he swears by the gold in the Temple, he is bound.' You blind fools! Which is more important? the gold? or the Temple which makes the gold holy? And you say, 'If someone swears by the altar, he is not bound by his oath; but if he swears by the offering on the altar, he is bound.' Blind men! Which is more important? the sacrifice? or the altar which makes the sacrifice holy? So someone how swears by the altar swears by it and everything on it. And someone who swears by the Temple swears by it and who lives in it. And someone who swears by heaven swears by G-ds throne and the One who sits on it.Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P'rushim! you pay your tithes of mint, dill and cumin; but you have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah - Justice, mercy, trust. These are the things you should have attended to- without neglecting the others! Blind guides! - straining out a gnat, meanwhile swollowing a camel!Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P'rushim! you clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. Blind Parush! First clean the inside of the cup so that the outside may be clean too.Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P'rushim! you are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but inside are full of dead peoples bones and all kinds of rottenness. Likewise, you appear to people from the outside to be good and honest, but inwardly you are fill of hypocrisy and far from the Torah.Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P'rushim! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of Tzddikim, and you say 'Had we lived when our fathers did, we would never have taken part in killing the prophets.' In this you testify against yourselves that you are worthy descendants od those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead then, finish what your fathers started!You snakes! Sons of snakes! how can you escape being condemned to Gei-Hinnom? There for I am sending you prophets and sages and Torah-teachers - some of them you will kill, indeed, you will have them executed on steaks as criminals; some you will flog in your synagoges and pursue from town to town. And so, on you will fall the guilt for all the innocent blood that has ever been shed on hearth, from the blood of the innocent of Hevel of the blood of Z'kharyah Ben-Berekhyah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Yes! I tell you that all this will fall on this generation!Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I gathered your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused! Look! G-d is abandoning your house to you, leaving it desolate.. For I tell you, from now on, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai'" A long and weighty passage. Yeshua now is really laying into the Torah-teachers and P'rushim. He has been responsive until now, and this entire chapter is Yeshua's counterattack. And what a brutal, yet applicable offense it is. This is a passage that scarily applies to the modern believer. THere is a hypocrite in every person. Especially the believer. We preach perfection and righteousness in Yeshua, yet we are not perfect or righteous ourselves. This hypocrisy is exampled in the P'rushim, and is very, very deeply layered.The kind of hypocrisy we see here is deeper and harsher than the kind Yeshua has been addressing up till now. before it was simply a fakeness, an appearance of one things, while the heart and truth being something different. Now we see that Yeshua warns against the actual two faced action of the P'rushinm. These were the religious leaders, leading, teaching instructing in the ways of the law. They were pastors. Being a pastor is a great and important calling. Some would say the greatest calling. But it also more dangerous. Constantly instructing others in how to live righteousness, the chances of becoming hypocritical is much higher. This points out the source of righteousness and the authority of pastors. The message is flawless, it is the messengers who are flawed. The authority of preachers, indeed within any believer sharing the word, does not come from within them but from the scripture. There are traces of hypocrisy in all of our lives. Every person will say one thing and then do another. This doesn't let us off the hook, but it does mean that the message is nor dependent on the messenger. Yeshua says that the people listening are to listen to and to the things the P'rishum say, but not to be like them. That means that the teaching of the P'rushim, founded on scripture, is right, even if they themselves are wrong.The P'rushim have woven onto into the law and the Torah a laundry list of additional rules. Yet they, as the definers of those rules take an immune stance. THey put the weight on the shoulders of other people, but do not expect themselves to keep their own standard. This is more than saying one thing and doing another, this is holding yourself to a separate standard, spiritually than others. They had a belief that they were special and unique, and exceptional. Somehow they have believed that the rules dont apply.We have already seen how the P'rushim are appearance based. They didnt want to cross the people when answering the question about Yochanan, because their image is importance. Because of this they wore obvious boxes of scripture when praying or simply being in public to let everyone know they they had been studying or praying. This is because they had nothing but their own appearances. There was nothing else, nothing on the inside.Part of the need to look good was tied to their desire to be honored. They sought after positions of power and prestige, so of course they have to look good. Yeshua instructs is followers to reject these positions, and strive do equal humility. We are all expendabel before G-d, there is nothing in any of us that G-d needs, and so why should any man see himself as worthy of a more honorable position in spirituality. It is hypocritical pride. All of this false belief and pride of the P'rushim is not only personally hazardous, but it can being down others as well. Truth is essential to salvation. If we do not have the gospel and the truth there of strait, then all of the other teaching os scripture becomes skewed. This is major, not only for us but for others, in that, for us it means we are blaspheming the name of Yeshua, but for others who follow our blaspheming, Hell is the ultimate destination. Hypocrisy in religious leaders is dangerous, on any level. When spirituality becomes about status or appearance, the number of followers become important, and then the message of the gospel is watered down. If the leaders say one thing and act another way, then their testimony to others is damaged. Praise G-d that the church is not about the people in the church, but about the message of Yeshua H'MeshiahThe final part of this tirade against hypocrisy is the most harsh. The pride of the hypocritical heart is not only misguided and legalistic, but it is a weapon used to destroy the church. Yeshua tells the P'rushim what they are going to kill and destroy those who were sent to save them. Because they are focused on their own outward appearance, they also focus on the outward appearance of others. When someone comes alone who is concerned about the hearts of those they meet, really trying to save them, the hypocrite will miss that work of the heart. By their legalism they destroy the things that have come to touch their heartsDo not think this is a message for someone else. This is a message for you. Somewhere in the words of Mattityahu twenty-three, every believer is found. There is hypocrisy deep inside each of us that must be fought daily. Search your heart and find yourself here. Remember the gospel inside you is not of you, it is of Yeshua.