7. Which group of people does Jesus criticize by describing them as whitewashed tombs – sparkling on the outside but dead on the inside?
Your Answer: [No Answer]
The correct answer was Pharisees.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.” (Matthew 23 v. 27)
Jesus, like many that had gone before, is very critical of any religion that consists of outward practice with no inner substance. The words take on an added significance, though, when you consider that Matthew is addressing a specifically Jewish community. The fledgling Christian church for whom he is writing was probably still seen as part of Judaism and had to establish its identity alongside existing Jewish groups such as the Pharisees. It is perhaps no surprise, therefore, that Matthew chooses to use the sayings of Jesus that are most hostile towards the Pharisees.