I noticed this morning in v. 34 Jesus says, “Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers.” He is speaking in future tense. I wonder if this is a reference to the persecution of the early church.
Pastor: I also homed in on this part of the passage. It seems to be a mirror image to when he tells the disciples that they will be “flogged in the synagogues” and persecuted. He tells them that before he sends them out the first time to evangelize, but I think it may have been a more general and future prediction. Also, he speaks later to the disciples about what they will have to endure to follow “take up their cross” and follow him and “drink the cup” that he drinks.
“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.” This is one of the woes. The woes are directed at the leaders and churches of the time. Do they pertain to the churches of today? I would guess some. We need to read the woes as a guide to what as a church we need to be or not be. This is both individually and corporately. Jesus promises that God will send prophets, teachers, and sages. We need to be sure we do not scourge them in our church or persecute them even if they are scourged in other churches and persecuted by others.
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