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67: A Frank Discussion over Dinner

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Luke 11:37-54

Outline:

  1. The Invitation Luke 11:37-38
  2. The Pharisee’s Hypocrisy Exposed Luke 11:39-52
  3. The Aftermath Luke 11:53-54

Context/Discussion/Comments:

This discussion appears to have taken place shortly after Jesus finished teaching/preaching to the crowd. Jesus is invited to the home of a Pharisee for dinner. The text gives the indication that it was a private affair but there are other Pharisees and, I presume, Jesus disciples.

Jesus enters the Pharisee’s house and His host notices that He doesn’t wash His hands as required by their law. Jesus explains that the Pharisees have lots and lots of rules covering what should be the protocol on their flesh but nothing concerning their hearts which are full of wickedness and greed. He proceeds to pronounce six more woes for a total of seven. Another way to look at this is to consider their greed and wickedness as the main problem and the others all help define just what their greed and wickedness looks like. I prefer that tactic.

  1. The Pharisees act as if they are perfect but they are really driven by greed and wickedness.
  • They are arrogant and tyrannical. They tithe but ignore love and justice. In other words their rules apply to every one but them.
  • They are proud and self-righteous. They feel they are better than anybody else but, in fact, they are less than anybody else. They look down on whoever is not one of them.
  • They are oppressive. They have rules but they offer no hope to the people.
  • They are liars and murderers. They build great monuments to the prophets but they and their forefathers are the ones who killed them because they did not like the prophet’s message. [And they are about to kill another.]
  • They are deceivers. They misinterpret Scripture and withhold Truth from the people.

Every one of these characteristics named by Jesus is also used to define Satan. No wonder Jesus had so little respect for the Pharisees.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Hypocrisy of any type is a grave evil and has the potential of misleading the people, including ourselves.

2. We must evaluate our lives, what we say and what we do, making sure we are consistent with the Word of God. The Word of God is Holy, Sacred. Handle it with diligence and care. Use it to encourage others and to give them the Hope of eternal live in Jesus Christ, the Lord.

3. As God’s children, we are to be the opposite of the Pharisees. We are to be humble, selfless, serving, loving, forgiving, repentant, encouraging, and truthful. We are to be Christ-like.

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