38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, 39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: 40 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.
Many times Scribes and Chief Priests are linked as synonyms with “and.” (Matthew 2:4; 16:21; 20:18; 21:15; 26:3; 27:41; Mark 8:31; 10:33; 11:18; etc. etc. Scribes are also linked with the Pharisees as synonymous in several verses which you are free to look up (i.e.: Matthew 5:20). Luke calls them lawyers. See Luke 11:44 and 45. So, Scribes are high-ranking priests of the Pharisee group, experts in the Law.
Jesus has just called the Scribes on an error in their understanding of the Old Testament in who the Messiah was to be. Now, he warns the people to beware of these religious know-it-all fakers who like to be viewed as having reached the pinnacle of spiritual perfection. They dress right, receive respect and homage from the unenlightened, sit prominently in the congregation, and emotionally manipulate widows to get their hands on what little they have left to live on, all the while making pretentious long-winded prayers. We have just such phonies in Independent Baptist Churches today.
Many of these pious, scholarly types in the Fundamentalist seminaries would have you think their feet don’t stink or that they walk on water. Manipulators, conceited fakes, haters of women, abusers of children, embezzlers, con-men, and all manner of wicked operators seem to be attracted to positions of influence in church organizations and in the seminaries where they rob the young person of their faith by going on about the original autographs and how you have to know the Greek and the Hebrew to understand the Bible. There isn’t one iota of difference between a man who would rob you of your innocence, your faith, your money, or your Bible. A pervert is a pervert is a pervert.