Matthew 23:26-30

Mat 23:26 (KJB)
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

The inside of the cup must first be cleansed which would represent the fact that the heart of a person must be cleansed and once that heart is cleansed, then that cleansing will manifest itself in the proper outward appearance of works and daily living. The clean or regenerated life will come through very clearly and that without any hypocrisy. True salvation is manifested from the inward to the outward.

Mat 23:27 (KJB)
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

In the month of Adar which is the month before the Passover, graves were whitewashed so pilgrims would not defile themselves accidentally. (Num 19:16-18 KJV) And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. {17} And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel: {18} And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave: This way the tombs were very clean on the outside but their outward appearance did not represent the fact that the tomb had a dead body in it which was probably bones and all the other unclean debris along with it. It is like today when people build the biggest monuments to their unsaved loved ones in the cemetery. The reality is that underneath the monument is a tomb full of dead menís bones. This is the comparison that Jesus is making. The Pharisees dress in the finest clothes and come across as such pious religious people and yet inside them is spiritual death which will eventually lead them to eternal damnation. They are unclean because they are unregenerate.

Mat 23:28 (KJB)
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Jesus tells them plainly that outwardly they appear righteous to men because they dress in the best clothes, they like to called Rabbi, they like the best seats at feasts, and they make long prayers to be heard of men. They put on the full air of being righteous but the fact is that they are totally unregenerate and their self-righteousness has absolutely no substance nor standing before God. (Mat 6:23 KJV) But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! The light of the Pharisees was their darkness. Inside they are total hypocrites and filled with the iniquity of hell. While men did not have the ability to see through them, Jesus saw right through them that their external religious acts were nothing more than hypocrisy. This is how it is with some pastors in churches. They appear to be so righteous and yet they are unsaved. The more religious they are, the more they need to be scrutinized.

Mat 23:29 (KJB)
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

It was not an unusual thing for a memorial to be built in Palestine and they were normally built on the tomb or grave of a prophet or righteous man. It was built to obtain forgiveness for murdering a prophet. Jesus had chided them because they were honoring the righteous and prophets in their graves but while they were alive, their message was rejected. The same attitude exists within the Pharisees and that is why Jesus is calling them hypocrites because here stands before them the Son of God and they are rejecting Him, the one who sent the prophets.

Mat 23:30 (KJB)
And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

According to the words of the scribes and Pharisees, they claimed that if they lived back in the days when the prophets were being persecuted, they would not have been partakers in their murders. Their record remains intact because they rejected John the Baptist as their fathers had done to the other prophets. This type of hypocrisy appears in every generation because people judge the past as if their sins can never be repeated in the present generation. This generation of Pharisees are not only rejecting the prophets but are going to conspire to murder their own Messiah. Talk about a repeat venture.

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