Jesus began talking with the crowds and with his disciples, warning them against becoming like the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. They were so caught up in the externals of religion and with following their traditions that they failed to show love, justice and mercy. They twisted and distorted the word of God for their own advantage. They were hypocrites, for they did not practice what they preached. They loved to be honored and recognized in public places, and worked hard at appearing righteous on the outside, though they were full of wickedness on the inside. Jesus is still warning us against such attitudes and hypocrisy in our own lives, and against following after such leaders or becoming just like them. Seven Woes / An Original Work / May 31, 2012 Based off Matthew 23 Woe to you, teachers of the law; Hypocrites, you keep men from God. You refuse to obey the truth, Nor will you permit others to. You travel o’er land and sea To win a single convert to you. When he becomes one You make him twice as much A “son of hell” as you are. Woe to you, blind guides of mankind. You distort the words of your God. By your practices you declare Your oaths mean nothing, though you swear. You give a tenth of your spices, But you neglect justice, mercy. When you focus your Time and talents on What is external, you miss out. Woe to you, who appear so clean, When inside you are crass and mean. You work hard to look so upright, While you hide all your sins inside. You deceive yourselves when you think You would not have done what others Did to God’s messengers And prophets of old, For you will do much the same. You’re to blame.