1Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, (Matthew 23:1-39)


Matthew 23 contains the worst rebuke of the Jewish religious leaders Jesus gave to any group. He chastised them for their hypocrisy, hard hearts, and total lack of understanding of God, His Word, and His ways. Matthew tells us He did this publicly before the multitude, the very people the hypocrites wanted to impress and control.

Jesus had faced many prior battles with the scribes and Pharisees. On this particular day, the encounter started with the chief priests and elders challenging Jesus’ authority. He stunned them by replying with a question that challenged their authority. He then used three parables to illustrate that the leaders of the Jews had rejected the rule of God in their lives, despite their pious religious acts.

The Pharisees countered by tempting Jesus with a question about paying taxes to the Roman government. Then the Sadducees tried to stop Jesus with a question about the resurrection. Finally, a lawyer tried to snare Him with a question about the greatest commandment. Jesus did so well in each test that “no man after that durst ask him any question” (Matt. 22:46).

As a believer you may have encountered unbelievers who tried to trap you as these religious people tried to trap Jesus. The devil will use these people to try to get you to doubt what you believe. But the Bible says that Jesus is “made unto us wisdom” (1 Cor. 1:30), and the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you (Rom. 8:11). That means you can answer any question anybody throws at you! Be confident today that you can remain strong in your faith no matter what question comes up.