THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
Tony Campolo says that his wife is a brilliant woman. She has a PhD degree and is capable of pursuing a very profitable career. But she elected to stay home with her children when they were young. Her decision didn’t bother her at all except when other women would ask, “What do you do?” She would answer, “I’m a homemaker. I stay home and take care of my children and my husband.” They would usually respond with, “Oh” and then ignore her from then on. So Mrs. Campolo came up with this response when she was asked what she did: “I’m socializing two Homo-sapiens in Judeo-Christian values so they’ll appropriate the eschatological values of utopia. What do you do?” They would often blurt out, “I’m a doctor”, or “I’m a lawyer”, and then wander off with a dazed look in their eyes. (Contributed by: Melvin Newland)
Paul was speaking to Jews who gloried in being called Jews. In fact, they thought they were much better than the Gentiles, and Paul proceeds to give the following list of moral and religious things they gloried in:
1. They relied on the Law (v. 17).
2. They bragged about their relationship to God (v. 17).
3. They know His will (v. 18).
4. They approve of what is superior (v. 18).
5. They are instructed by the law (v. 18).
6. They thought of themselves as being:
(a) a guide for the blind (v. 19)
(b) an instructor of the foolish (v. 20)
7. They thought they were the only ones who had knowledge and truth.
Paul then stops and asks a question. “You who teach others, do you not teach yourselves?” He goes on to say that they teach against stealing, committing adultery and having idols but they are guilty of doing these things of which they are telling others not to do. He says, "You brag about the law but you dishonor God by breaking the Law." He says that their hypocrisy even causes the Gentiles to blaspheme God.
When I say one thing and do another it causes others to not follow the Lord. Does my life cause others to want to accept Christ or turn them off to the things of the Lord?