Matthew 23:31-33, “Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers! how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”
Pounding the final nail into His own coffin, Jesus ended His denunciation of the Pharisees by telling them that by their own words they have proved that they are indeed the children of those who had killed the Old Testament prophets; not just children by lineage, but children of the heart. They were the same as their fathers and their fathers before them.
“Go ahead, then,” He said, “and fulfill your hearts’ desires to be just like your fathers, you snakes, you vipers, because you will not escape the damnation of hell!”
In using such strong words, Jesus made it clear that the men He addressed had no knowledge of true faith; that they were unbelievers with evil hearts, that they would fulfill their goal of putting Him to death, and they would not escape their own fate in hell.
The woes He pronounced are finished, but He still has some important words for this angry, self-righteous bunch of blind leaders of the blind. It’s almost as if He wanted to leave no chance at all that they would fail to seek some means of killing Him.