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Verse 39. Ye shall not see me, etc. The day of your mercy is gone by. I have offered you protection and salvation, and you have rejected it. You are about to crucify me, and your temple to be destroyed; and you, as a nation, be given up to long and dreadful suffering. You will not see me as a merciful Saviour, offering you redemption any more, till you have borne these heavy judgments. They must come upon you, and be borne, until you would be glad to hail a deliverer, and say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Blessed be he that comes as the Messiah, to bring deliverance. This has not been yet accomplished; but the days will come when the Jews, long cast out and rejected, will hail Jesus as the Messiah, and receive him whom their fathers slew, as the merciful Saviour, Ro 11:25-32.

{z} "shall say" Ps 118:26; Mt 21:9



(1.) Proper respect should always be shown to teachers and rulers, Mt 23:3.

(2.) We are not to copy the example of wicked men, Mt 23:3. We are to frame our conduct by the law of God, and not by the example of men.

(3.) Men are often very rigid in exacting of others what they fail altogether of performing themselves, Mt 23:4.

(4.) We are to obey God rather than man; not to seek human honours, Mt 23:8, nor to give flattering titles to others, nor to allow others to give them to us, Mt 28:9. Our highest honour is in humility; and he is most exalted who is most lowly, Mt 23:11,12.

(5.) In the descriptions of the Scribes and Pharisees in this chapter, we have a full-length portrait of the hypocrite.

1st. They shut up the kingdom of heaven against others, Mt 23:13.

They made great pretensions to knowledge, but they neither entered

in themselves nor suffered others.


2nd. They committed the grossest iniquity under a cloak of religion,

Mt 23:14. They cheated widows out of their property, and made

long prayers to hide their villany.


3rd. They showed great zeal in making proselytes; yet did it only for

gain, and made them more wicked, Mt 23:15.


4th. They taught false doctrine—artful contrivances to destroy the

force of oaths, and shut out the Creator from their view,

Mt 23:16-22.


5th. They were superstitious, Mt 23:23. Small matters they were

exact in; matters of real importance they cared little about.


6th. They were openly hypocritical. They took great pains to

appear well, while they themselves knew that it was all deceit

and falsehood, Mt 23:25-28.


7th. They professed great veneration for the memory of the pious dead,

while at the same time they were conscious that they really approved

the conduct of those who killed them, Mt 23:29-31.

Never, perhaps, was there a combination of more wicked feelings and

hypocritical actions, than among them; and never was there more

profound knowledge of the human heart, and more faithfulness, than

in him who tore off the mask, and showed them what they were.

(6.) It is amazing with what power and authority our blessed Lord reproves this wicked people. It is wonderful that they ever waited for a mock trial, and did not kill him at once. But his time was not come; and they were restrained, and not suffered to act out the fury of their mad passions.

(7.) Jesus pities dying sinners, Mt 23:37. He seeks their salvation. He pleads with them to be saved. He would gather them to him, if they would come. The most hardened, even like the sinners of Jerusalem, he would save if they would come to him. But they not; they turn from him, and tread the road to death.

(8.) The reason why the wicked are not saved is in their obstinacy. They choose not to be saved, and they die. If they will not come to Christ, it is right that they should die. If they do not come, they must die.

(9.) The sinner shall be destroyed, Mt 23:38. The day will come when the mercy of God will be clean gone for ever, and the forbearance of God exhausted; and then the sinner must perish. When once God has given him over, he must die. No man, no parent, minister, or friend, no angel or archangel, can then save. Salvation is lost, for ever lost. Oh, how amazing is the folly of the wicked, that they weary out the forbearance of God, and perish in their sins!

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