“Serpents, generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Matthew 23:33
These words spoken by Jesus is from the heart of the God-Man Jesus Christ. They are spoken through most of the twenty third chapter of Matthew. He calls them, serpents, vipers, hypocrites at least nine times. Now He tells them they speak poisonous words. They bind people in legalism, and make their converts more a child of hell than themselves (v. 15).
O how we as pastors and preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). O how all of those who are born again need to realize that in Christ Jesus we have been made free from the demands of the law, because the law is within our hearts and minds to do it.
From the Pulpit Commentary on Matthew 23:33…
“Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers; γεννηìματα ἐχιδνῶν: offspring of vipers. Our Lord repeats the Baptist’s denunciation (Mat_3:7). They were of devilish nature, inherited from their very birth the disposition and character of Satan. So Christ said on another occasion, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth” (Joh_8:44). How can ye escape? Πῶς φυìγητε; the deliberative conjunctive, How shall ye escape? Quo mode fugietis? (Vulgate). There is no emphasis on “can” in the Authorized Version. What hope is there now of your repentance? Can anything soften the hardness of your hearts? The Baptist had spoken more hopefully, “Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” But now the day of grace is past; the sin against the Holy Ghost is committed; there remaineth only the fearful looking for of judgment.
The damnation of hell; literally, the judgment of Gehenna; judicio Gehennae (Vulgate); i.e. the sentence that condemns to eternal death (Mat_5:22). The phrase is common in the rabbinical writings (see Lightfoot). “Before sinning, we ought to fear lest it be the filling up; after sinning, we should trust in a truly Christian hope that it is not, and repent. This is the only means to escape the damnation of hell; but how rare is this grace after a pharisaical life!” (Quesnel). Hypocrisy is a bar to repentance.”
May hypocrisy be cast out of my heart. May hypocrisy be the enemy of my heart, my mind, and my life. May hypocrisy be cast out and trod under our feet.