You say,‘ I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
Then the disciples came to him and asked,“ Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?”Jesus replied,“ Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted,so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.”
You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness.You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth.Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal?You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples?
“ Have you been led astray, too?” the Pharisees mocked.“ Is there a single one of us rulers or Pharisees who believes in him?This foolish crowd follows him, but they are ignorant of the law. God’s curse is on them!”Then Nicodemus, the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, spoke up.“ Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?” he asked.They replied,“ Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself— no prophet ever comes from Galilee!”[ The most ancient Greek manuscripts do not include John 7:53–8:11.]
“ Blind guides! What sorrow awaits you! For you say that it means nothing to swear‘ by God’s Temple,’ but that it is binding to swear‘ by the gold in the Temple.’Blind fools! Which is more important— the gold or the Temple that makes the gold sacred?And you say that to swear‘ by the altar’ is not binding, but to swear‘ by the gifts on the altar’ is binding.How blind! For which is more important— the gift on the altar or the altar that makes the gift sacred?When you swear‘ by the altar,’ you are swearing by it and by everything on it.And when you swear‘ by the Temple,’ you are swearing by it and by God, who lives in it.And when you swear‘ by heaven,’ you are swearing by the throne of God and by God, who sits on the throne.“ What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law— justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel!“ What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy— full of greed and self indulgence!You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.“ What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs— beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.
“ You were born a total sinner!” they answered.“ Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue.
Then the Lord said to him,“ You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy— full of greed and wickedness!Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside?So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over.“ What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.“ What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you love to sit in the seats of honor in the synagogues and receive respectful greetings as you walk in the marketplaces.Yes, what sorrow awaits you! For you are like hidden graves in a field. People walk over them without knowing the corruption they are stepping on.”“ Teacher,” said an expert in religious law,“ you have insulted us, too, in what you just said.”“ Yes,” said Jesus,“ what sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden.What sorrow awaits you! For you build monuments for the prophets your own ancestors killed long ago.But in fact, you stand as witnesses who agree with what your ancestors did. They killed the prophets, and you join in their crime by building the monuments!This is what God in his wisdom said about you:‘ I will send prophets and apostles to them, but they will kill some and persecute the others.’“ As a result, this generation will be held responsible for the murder of all God’s prophets from the creation of the world—from the murder of Abel to the murder of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, it will certainly be charged against this generation.“ What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.”As Jesus was leaving, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees became hostile and tried to provoke him with many questions.They wanted to trap him into saying something they could use against him.