Summary: 3 pitfalls the Pharisees fell into and which we can fall into also.
“Woe, Woe, Woe - Luke 11:37-55”
Gladstone Baptist Church – 5/11/06 am
S1 - Not everyone with Bad eyes are outside the church. Jesus turned his attention to the Pharisees in the crowd and expressed regret at their blindness and inappropriate action. (Review of last week, Vs 37-41) OOPS
Last week, we talked about being Blessed people. If you weren’t here, I encourage you to get the CD because we found out that our definition of what a blessed person was, is very different to what Jesus’ thoughts were on the matter. We think someone is blessed if they receive lots of things from God. God thinks a person is blessed if they hear his words and obey them.
Luke 11:28 records Jesus’ words as ““Blessed … are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
In the passage we’ve been studying over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen a crowd of people following Jesus for all sorts of reasons. People, today follow Jesus for many different reasons too. Some follow him, because their friend do. They are really following their friends, not Jesus. Some follow Him, because their parents did. They are really following tradition, not Jesus. Some follow Him, because they like his philosophy on life. They are really following a philosophy or ethical system, not Jesus. And some follow Him, because of the gifts and benefits that come from him. They are following a Santa Claus type figure, not Jesus.
Jesus says that the blessed people in God’s kingdom are those who follow to see, hear and to obey. All the people that day were all standing in the light of God’s witness that was so clear to see in the teachings and miracles of Jesus. It like standing in the brilliant glow of a floodlight. Some people had their eyes open and the light of God shone into their lives and transformed them. Their attitudes changed, their behaviour changed, their relationships changed, their whole being was changed. They were blessed because they saw, heard and acted in obedience.
But other people had their eyes closed. They were blind to God’s witness and did not allow the light to shine in and impact their lives. The challenge we faced last week was to ensure that we were people who had eyes that were open not eyes that were closed.
You see, not everyone sitting in our church here this morning has good eyes (please excuse the pun). Some people in our church this morning have bad eyes. They might call themselves Christians – but they have bad eyes, they might even be Christians – but they have bad eyes, they may even be in leadership positions in our church – but they have bad eyes. These are people who are not obeying Jesus’ call to become like him – they might be in the crowd, but they are not seeing, hearing and obeying.
In the crowd that day with Jesus were some highly respected people from the religious community who had bad eyes. Turn in your bibles to Luke 11:37-55
37 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38 But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised.
39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.
44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which men walk over without knowing it.”
45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.”
46 Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.
47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your forefathers who killed them. 48 So you testify that you approve of what your forefathers did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.