Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Read Chapter 23
Cornelius a Lapide
Woe unto you, ( Matthew 23:25)&c. This is another parable, in which Christ calls man a cup and a plate. The body and external goods He calls the outside of the cup and the platter. The soul and the conscience He calls that which is within. The meaning Isaiah , "You, 0 ye Pharisees, studiously wash and cleanse your hands, your bodies, the cups and plates and glasses out of which ye eat and drink, but ye fill your conscience with the uncleanness of rapine and every sort of wickedness. Whereas ye ought to take chief care that your conscience should be purified, for it is that alone which makes us clean in the sight of God, as it is also that from which flows all impurity of acts and deeds. It is the conscience which is the source of the goodness or wickedness of actions. Wherefore, if the conscience be clean, all other things will be clean also."
Briefly and simply we may explain thus. "Ye are zealous to cleanse the external cups and plates, out of which ye eat and drink; ye neglect to c...
Woe to you. Jesus Christ here condemns, in forcible language, the principal vices of the Pharisees, viz. their hypocrisy, false devotion, boundless ambition, insatiable avarice, false zeal, and ignorance in deciding upon cases of conscience. St. Luke represents our Saviour as saying this to the Pharisees at dinner; (Chap. xi.) so that Christ must either have repeated these things at different times; or, St. Matthew according to custom, must have added them to other words of our Saviour, which, though spoken on another occasion, had some connection with the same subject. In vain do you, Pharisees, boast of your external sanctity. Do not imagine, that fornication, adultery, and other actions, are the only sins to be attended to; and that pride, avarice, anger, and other spiritual sins, are of no moment. He who made the body, made also the soul; and it is of equal consequence that both be kept clean and free from sin. (Nicholas of Lyra.)
By the similitude of the cup, and of whited sepulc...