Woe to you experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You devour widows’ property, and as a show you pray long prayers! Therefore you will receive a more severe punishment.
[Matt 23:14 NET]
Usually we see the gentle phases of Christ’s character and teaching. He is compassionate toward suffering and sorrow. He is so gentle that He will not break a bruised reed nor quench a dimly burning wick.
But here we see Him in a severe and stern aspect. He speaks to the Pharisees in scathing denunciation. They taught the truths of God, but did not live them. They made great display of devoutness, but it was only that men might think them religious.
The Master’s arraignment of the Pharisees was terribly severe. But the same lips uttered these woes that uttered the Beatitudes and the gracious invitations to the weary and the heavy–laden.
Christ is holy as well as loving. Penitence is welcomed to His feet, but hypocrisy is denounced. In the last verses of this chapter we see both aspects. He arraigns Jerusalem for the murder of the prophets and the rejection of heaven’s messengers, and then tells how He would have gathered the people in love, but they would not.