The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 11:37-44 ~ It is the Inward Heart of Grace & Love that God Desires ~ We are Cleansed Inside & Out Through Christ’s Sacrifice Upon the Cross ~ We Need to Throw Off Self-Righteousness so We can See Jesus More Clearly & Serve Others.

Vol. 19, No. 13 – April 5, 2020

4 5 20-Luke11vs37-44-Inward heart of grace and love God desires-cleansed inside and out thru Christ sacrifice on Cross-throw off self-righteousness see Jesus clearly and serve othersThe Gospel of Luke
Chapter 11

H. Rejection by Pharisees and Lawyers, Luke 11:37-54.

1. Rebuke of the Pharisees’ Unbelief, vs. 37-44.

2. Rebuke of the Lawyers’ Unbelief, vs. 45-52.

3. The Plotted Revenge of the Pharisees and Lawyers, vs. 53-54.

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1. Rebuke of the Pharisees Unbelief, vs. 37-44.

In the previous section of Luke’s narrative, he draws an indelible line through the universe, dividing the kingdom of God from the dominion of darkness / evil; God’s side of the conflict from Satan’s. Having done so, Luke invites the reader to engage with each character in the narrative and then determine which side of the line to choose. With this cosmology established, Luke now turns to the conflict with the Pharisees.

Early in the narrative, the Pharisees and other religious authorities presented mild opposition to Jesus, yet these challenges foretold of greater conflict. For several chapters, they have fallen into the background of the story, as there has been no mention of the Pharisees since the end of Chapter 7. Nevertheless, the Lord’s ministry put Him on a collision course with the religious authorities in Jerusalem. Consequently, the remaining narrative will prominently feature His conflict with the Pharisees, begging the question of those involved, and of us, “Which side of this conflict have you chosen for yourself?”

Vs. 37

Luke 11:37, “Now when He had spoken, a Pharisee asked Him to have lunch, (Verb, ARISTAO, John 21:12, 15), with him; and He went in, and reclined at the table.”

Even though the Pharisees have been antagonistic towards Jesus and his followers, Jesus, in grace, accepts the invitation to dine with them. As we will see below, even though Jesus was an invited guest, He did not hesitate to use the situation to reprove and rebuke the false general attitude of the Pharisees, in the hopes that they would repent.

Vs. 38

Luke 11:38, “When the Pharisee saw it, he was surprised (THAUMAZO, cf. vs. 14) that He had not first ceremonially washed before the meal.”

We do not know much of who this Pharisee was. He might have been an antagonist towards Jesus, or he might have been truly interested in what Jesus had to teach, like Nicodemus of John 3. We see here that “he was surprised,” THAUMAZO, which means, “to wonder, admire, be astonished, or be amazed.” It might mean he had positive volition towards Jesus, cf. vs. 14. Yet, he was marveling at what Jesus was not doing at this time, which was not “ceremonially washing,” BAPTIZO, “before the meal,” the Noun ARISTON, Mat 22:4; Luke 14:14.

Nevertheless, he was a Pharisee steeped in legalism, and previously we have noted some self-righteous Pharisees who had accused Him and His disciples of not washing first, which was in accordance with their man made traditions, and not the Law of God, cf. Mat 15:2; Mark 7:1-5.  This is where the Catholics get their “holy water” washing before entering the church from. So, clearly he was on the wrong track and either was judging Jesus, or was just curious as to why he did not ceremonially wash.

“Legalism is the search for innocence—not forgiveness. It’s a systematic process of defending self, explaining self, exalting self, and justifying self. The obsession with legalism? Self. Not God. Legalism has no pity on people. Legalism makes my opinion your burden, makes my opinion your boundary, and makes my opinion your obligation.” (Max Lucado, Upwords.)

In general the Pharisees were upset because Jesus did not wash his hands according to “their custom.” The issue was not Jesus’s cleanliness; the issue was the Pharisees’ traditions. They wanted Jesus to show respect for their religious customs even though their customs really had nothing to do with God’s commands.

Vs. 39

Luke 11:39, “But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness.”

Vs. 39-40, are paralleled in Mat 23:25-26.

In either scenario of this Pharisees viewpoint regarding Jesus and His not washing, Jesus took this opportunity to unload on the Pharisees in general. He did not hold back in His reproving and rebuking of their general tenants and false religion. Having not obeyed the Pharisees tradition of washing, Jesus then used another tradition of the Pharisees in the ritual of cleansing, in His rebuke.

Jesus clearly intended the “cup” and the “platter” to be symbols of the Pharisees themselves, as they meticulously observed their man-made, outward symbols of piety while ignoring their internal corruption. They bandaged the symptoms of disease while ignoring the infection.

In these two passages, vs. 39-40, Jesus used two contrasting words EXOTHEN, “outside” and ESOTHEN, “inside,” where Jesus pointed out the folly of being so careful to keep material objects clean while the heart is polluted with self-righteous legalistic arrogance that amounts to human good, which is rejected by God.

Similarly, in Mat 23:27, which also correlates to vs. 44, below, Jesus spoke about the Pharisees who, like whitewashed tombs, appeared beautiful outwardly, EXOTHEN, but inwardly, ESOTHEN, they were full of dead men’s bones and uncleanness.

Mat 23:27, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”

Cup,” is the Noun POTERION, ποτήριον, “cup or drinking vessel.” It is used for a literal cup, but is also used for the Communion cup in Mat 26:27; Mark 14:23; Luke 22:17, 20; 1 Cor 10:16; 11:25-28. In that it represents the sacrifice Jesus would make on behalf of all mankind upon the Cross, which was the plan and will of God the Father for Jesus’ life. Therefore, it represents Jesus’s spiritual life that culminated in sacrifice for the sins of the entire world upon the Cross, cf. Mat 26:39, 42; Mark 10:38-39; Luke 22:42; John 18:11; 1 Cor 10:21. As such, and in its other figurative uses for either living the spiritual life or living the cosmic life, Rev 14:10; 16:19; 17:4; 18:6; 1 Cor 10:21. It speaks of making a decision to live unto God and Christ in the spiritual life of God’s will and plan, in and by grace, or living inside of Satan’s cosmic system by your own human good works, of which the latter includes self-righteous legalistic arrogance like that of the Pharisees, as a result of their humanistic religious viewpoint.

Platter,” is an interesting use, which is the noun PINAX, πίναξ that means, “platter, plate, or dish,” because its only other use in the NT, is in the narrative of when Herod beheaded John the Baptist at the request of his step daughter and had his head presented to her on a platter, Mat 14:8-11; Mark 6:25-28, which speaks of sin and evil; wickedness.

Then we see Jesus’ incensed frustration with the Pharisees, as He uttered this scathing denunciation of their hypocrisy and that of the Lawyers. In our verse, rather than saying they were like “dead men’s bones and unclean,” He used an actual category of sin and a catchall word for sin.

“Full of robbery,” is the Noun HARPAGE, ἁρπαγή “plunder, spoil, greed, or robbery.” Only used in Mat 23:25; Heb 10:34.

“Wickedness,” is the Noun PONERIA, πονηρία, “wickedness, depravity, and sinfulness.” In its ethical sense, it means opposition to God. It describes the Pharisees’ resistance to Jesus, Mat 22:18; Luke 11:39, the sinful state of human beings prior to redemption, Mark 7:22; Acts 3:26; Rom 1:29; 1 Cor 5:8, and the evil resolve of opposing spiritual forces, Eph 6:12.

Eph 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Here, Jesus called their self-righteous legalism “wickedness” in the face of their self-viewpoint of being holy and righteous. They observed their man made rules and regulations of ceremonial cleanliness, yet with polluted hearts, a practice that God has always found repulsive, Isa 1:10-17; 58:4-8; Amos 5:21-24; Micah 6:6-8. Furthermore, they mistakenly believed their outward deeds could cleanse their inner corruption.

Vs. 40

Luke 11:40, “You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also?”

“You foolish ones,” uses the Adjective APHRON, ἄφρων that means, “foolish, inconsiderate, or rash.” In classical Greek, it has the idea of being “senseless.” In the NT, it means the person who acts in ignorance, the one who is opposed to God, or the one who does not understand God’s ways. Our Lord is recorded as only using it one other time in Luke 12:20. The other times it is used in the NT, is by Paul and once by Peter.

Luke 12:20, “But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?””

Jesus is saying that God made the entire essence of the person; body and soul. Therefore, they needed to treat the soul, (the inside, ESOTHEN, of a man), just as well as they treated the body, (the outside, EXOTHEN, of the man), because God made both, and both belong to Him. Therefore, both should be given to God for worship and service. We are to give Him both our inward heart and our outward deeds. Not just one or the other. Therefore, Jesus charged them with superficiality because of their legalistic conceit, and reminds them that God not only sees their outward acts, which appear pious, but He is also the Knower of their heart.

Vs. 41

Luke 11:41, “But give that which is within as charity, and then all things are clean for you.”

Jesus uses another misstep of the Pharisees in His rebuke, giving to the poor. This is an interesting saying. “Give that which is within charity.” “Charity,” is the Noun ELEEMOSUNE ἐλεημοσύνη that means, “kind act, merciful, or alms.” It is related to the Verb ELEEO, “to show mercy or sympathy.” It came to describe “gifts of mercy,” and in the LXX was used for “righteousness and mercy.” Righteous-ness, therefore, was the exercise or fulfillment of that religious obligation in accordance with Divine law. It had to do with loving your neighbor. So, this could be rendered “give from the inside / heart.”

Most usages in the NT, have to do with “giving of alms / charity” to the poor. There were basically two kinds of alms:

1) “Gifts of the chest,” which was money accrued on the Sabbath in the offering chest of the synagogue that was intended for the use of the poor.

2) “Gifts of the cup,” that were food and money gathered in begging cups by the poor, typically in the streets.

The Pharisees loved to make a big scene in their giving to the poor and many times did it with much pomp and circumstance. They would make a big outward expression of their giving that did not match what was truly in their heart. Therefore, Jesus demonstrated the importance of the attitude of the giver.

One should not give in order to be noticed by men, Mat 6:1-4; Luke 14:12-14. Against the prideful “charity” of the Pharisees, Jesus placed the widow’s small but heartfelt gift, Mark 12:41-44; cf. 1 Cor 13:3. The value of the gift itself has little significance; its value is considered in relation to the love and self-sacrifice which lie behind the gift. Therefore, it is when we give freely from a heart of love and compassion that we are truly made clean before the Lord. Such giving knows no boundaries of law and is free before the Lord.

Titus 1:13-16, “This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”

“Then all things are clean for you,” uses the Adjective KATHROS that means, “clean or pure” and carries the connotation of “ritual cleanness,” and the opposite of that which is false.

“In the Various Versions Williams has an interesting paraphrase for the words “give alms of such things as you have”: “dedicate once for all your inner self.” If the inner problems of greed and general wickedness are removed, only then are acts of giving regarded by God as being pure. This is the idea behind the phrase “all things are clean to you.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary.)

James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” It is interesting how this passage keeps coming up in comparison to the word usage in Luke 11.

Heb 10:22, “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

John 15:3, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”

John 13:10, “Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed, (LUO), needs only to wash, (NIPTO), his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”

Because we have been “bathed,” (LUO, cleansed) of our sins positionally for salvation once and for all time through faith in the work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross, we are “completely clean,” KATHROS. Now that we are positionally cleansed / sanctified, we need to wash, (NIPTO, clean) our feet for experiential sanctification. This means the cleansing of sins post salvation from our souls. This is accomplished by God when we apply 1 John 1:9, the confession our sins to God post salvation.

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse, (KATRIZO), us from all unrighteousness.”

Based on our positional bathing / sanctification, we can have experiential washing / sanctification. Therefore, when we apply 1 John 1:9 post salvation, we can fulfill the grace plan of God by being clean on the inside and outside by the “blood of Jesus,” which was His spiritual death upon the Cross when He suffered and paid for our sins.

When we receive “washing” by God post salvation, “cleansed of all unrighteousness,” we have experiential sanctification and thereby walk in the light of Jesus and have fellowship with God, 1 John 1:7.

1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses, (KATRIZO), us from all sin.”

Therefore, to have true cleansing on the inside and outside, we first need to believe in Jesus as our Savior, at one time in our lives, and then confess to God the Father any sins we have committed post salvation. This inward cleansing leads to walking in the light and fellowship with God, as well as the filling of the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:7-18. With the filling of the Holy Spirit, we apply the Word of God to our lives and therefore have charity in all that we do; until we sin again. When we are filled with the Spirit, we are clean on the inside and outside and all that we do gives glory to God in demonstrating His holiness, mercy, grace, and love to those in darkness.

The pure in heart, (those with integrity and moral uprightness, charged with God’s love), typify Christian behavior, 1 Tim 1:5, “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

Because of Christ’s sacrifice, believers can stand with pure hearts before God, 2 Tim 2:22, “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”

Therefore, with the positional cleansing at salvation and the experiential cleansing through 1 John 1:9, we can fulfill God’s will and plan to Luke 11:41, “…give that which is within as charity, and then all things are clean for you,” where both our inside and outside are sanctified unto God.

Now, we turn to the “woe,” (the Interjection OUAI that denotes pain  or displeasure as a result of punitive disciple or judgment), warnings, as also used by our Lord in Luke 6:24-26; 10:13. The following six warnings to the Pharisees and Lawyers/Scribes are paralleled with the eight “woes” in Mat 23:13-29.

Vs. 42

Luke 11:42, “But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”

The first woe in Luke, is paralleled in Mat 23:33. It condemns the Pharisees for their self-righteous arrogance when paying their “tithes,” APODEKATOO, ἀποδεκατόω, “tithe, collect a tithe from, or pay the tenth of,” from APO, “from,” and DEKATOS, “tenth.” It is only used here and in Luke 18:12; Mat 23:23, Heb 7:5.

In Luke 18, it was the parable of the self-righteous man who relied on his deeds for his righteousness, as noted in his arrogant prayer in vs. 12, “I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.” Jesus’ response to that type of attitude is in vs. 14b, “…for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

A tithe was ten percent of Jewish income tax where both the unbeliever and the believer paid. Tithing is not spiritual giving in the OT. Spiritual giving is limited to believers only and tithing was a ten percent income tax under the Mosaic Law, Codex number three, which deals with the laws of Divine establishment.

Actually, there were three ten percent taxes under the ten percent rule of income tax in the Mosaic Law for all Jewish citizens to give, believers and unbelievers. The categories of tithing in Israel included:

1) To the Levites went ten percent for the maintenance and sustenance of the Levitical priesthood, Num 18:20-21, 24; Heb 7:5, 9. This may seem to authorize a national church. It does not. You must remember that in the previous dispensation it was the Levitical priesthood who handled all of the national holidays. They offered all the sacrifices at every one of the special feasts, as well as the feast of the trumpets, and on the first day of each month.

2) A tenth was to be used for the sacred feasts and sacrifices, Deut 12:17-19; 14:22-27.

3) Every third year, there was a third ten percent taxation. This was for a charity tax for the poor of the land, this was not welfare, it was charity, Deut 14:28-29. This correlates to our Lord’s rebuke in vs. 40-41.

Remember that the tithe is defined in the Scripture as a ten percent income tax for the citizens of Israel only, both believers and unbelievers. Because it included unbelievers, and because it was a tax, it is not regarded as spiritual giving. It is regarded as an obligation called income tax. Spiritual giving is presented in the Mosaic Law under one word, “offerings.” Offerings were for believers only.

In fact, tithe predates the Law, as Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek, Gen 14:17-20; Heb 7:1-10.

Mat 23:23; Luke 11:42, are illustrative of references to tithing in the Gospels. Whenever you find a reference to tithing in the Gospels, it illustrates the distortion of the Law through legalism. The references there all have to do with the condemnation of legalism. The Talmud extension of the Mosaic Law distorted the entire concept of tithing. The Pharisees at the time of our Lord extended it to the minutest details of life not required by the Mosaic Law.

Tithing is not a part of NT giving; it has nothing to do with the Church Age. In 1 Cor 16:1-2, tithing has never been spiritual giving at all in the Church Age. The amount that you give to the local church is strictly between you and the Lord. It does not have to be ten percent; it can be more or less. Giving is the expression of worship of the Royal Priesthood and therefore is not related with tithing, and never can be. Why? Because, while the priesthood can receive ten percent, it can never give ten percent to anyone. The Royal Priesthood is the highest of all priesthoods and as such it never deals in ten percent. 2 Cor 8 – 9, is a detailed dissertation on giving for the Royal Priesthood. Tithing is never mentioned as related to giving in this dispensation.

The types of tithing mentioned here were first “mint,” HEDOUSMOS, only here and Mat 23:23, that refers to a small scented plant which was cultivated and grown in Palestine. It also grew wild in various varieties, and Pharisees paid tithe on it, even though the Law did not require this.

Next is “rue,” PEGANON, only used here in the NT, which is an aromatic plant widely used as a condiment, in medicines, and as a charm. This might be a word that was changed over the years in this passage, and most likely should read, “dill,” or ANETHON, because, the reading of p45 (Third Century A.D.) favors ANETHON; and the parallel passage of Mat 23:23, has ANETHON instead of PEGANON. In addition, according to the Mishnah, it was not necessary to tithe rue. Interestingly, these first two speak of aromatic scents that smell good, yet the Pharisees’ tithes stunk badly.

And thirdly, “every kind of garden herb,” uses PAS with the Noun LACHANON, that means, “vegetable or herb,” Mat 13:32; Mark 4:32; Rom 14:2. These are not wild but domesticated plants. This one speaks of food for sustenance, yet the Pharisees kept their congregants from receiving the spiritual substance they needed in Jesus Christ.

So, we see tithes according to the Law and those not prescribed by the Law, yet Jesus uses them all because it was their mental attitude in giving that need correction, as noted in the next phrase, “And yet disregard justice and the love of God.” Literally it says they “pass by,” PARERCHOMAI, “judgment,” KRISIS and “love,” AGAPE, “of God,” THEOS. They did not have justice, mercy, or love in their souls for others; only for themselves.

In Jesus’ rebuke He states, “But these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” The Pharisees went beyond the Law’s requirements in their man made ritualistic details of their religion, yet they completely ignored the Law’s moral principles of having justice and love in their hearts based on God’s Word being resident within their souls, when they entered into their giving. Instead, they made their giving a ritualistic process for acceptance by God, which God does not accept, Isa 1:10-17; 58:4-8; Amos 5:21-24; Micah 6:6-8.

Isa 1:17, “Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”

Amos 5:24, “But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Therefore, we cannot neglect the love of God and love of neighbor when the whole Law is summed up in those two points.

Vs. 43

Luke 11:43, “Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the chief seats in the synagogues and the respectful greetings in the market places.”

The second woe is also seen as a warning Mat 23:6f; Mark 12:38f; Luke 20:46.

Here, the rebuke has to do with the approbation lust of the Pharisees. They “loved,” AGAPAO, the “first seat” PROTOKATHEDRIA, “place of honor or best seat,” Mat 23:6; Mark 12:39; Luke 20:46, from PROTO and KATHEDRA. They liked being in the “front row.” These seats were designated in the “synagogues,” SUNAGOGE, and at banquets for honored or distinguished guests. In the Synagogues, these seats were places of honor where they could be seen and see best. The seats were arranged in a semicircle around the pulpit. Those seated there could be seen by the entire congregation. These “chief seats” facing the congregation gave the elders a sense of authority over the congregation and putting them in the religious limelight.

Jesus observed and strongly condemned the practice of the Pharisees who competed with one another for these places of honor at public gatherings, and their arrogance and lust regarding them. This was a private acknowledgement of their honor that they arrogantly loved to receive, and many times demanded.

They also loved to receive, “respectful greetings,” ASPASMOS, “in the market places,” AGORA. This was a public acknowledgement of their honor that they arrogantly loved to receive, and many times demanded. Extrabiblical Jewish literature, such as the Talmud, prescribed profuse greetings for teachers of the Law. As such, they considered themselves as the source of life for the Jewish community and expected to be treated as such. They did not devote themselves to religious life to serve others; they expected everyone to serve them.

Therefore, they desire applause and popularity, not God. They want to be worshiped, not offer worship. They think little of God but much of themselves. A Pharisees is one who uses religion for popularity and privilege.

Vs. 44

Luke 11:44, “Woe to you! For you are like concealed tombs, and the people who walk over them are unaware of it.”

The third woe to the Pharisees is reiterated in Mat 23:27, in a slightly different manner.

Mat 23:27, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”

Some ancient texts have added, “Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites,” to Luke’s account, most likely to align with Matthew’s that led translations like the KJV to include it, but the more reliable texts do not have it.

Our Lord does not condemn an action they are taking this time, instead He just gives a rebuke, “you are like concealed tombs,” using the noun MNEMEION that means, “monument, memorial, grave, tomb, record, or remembrance. Thayer notes that it means, “Any visible object for preserving or recalling the memory of any person or thing; a sepulchral monument.” (Greek-English Lexicon.)

It also uses ADELOS that means, “unseen, uncertain, or not manifest.” It is only used here and 1 Cor 14:8. So, it comes to mean here “unknown grave.” The meaning of this is significant because this meant that someone could come into contact with that grave “without knowing it,” i.e., “The people who walk over them are unaware of it,” OUK OIDA, “without knowledge, knowing fully, understanding, or recognizing it.” If so, according the Law, Num 19:11-22, especially vs. 16, that person would be unclean for seven days, because they were not to touch a dead body or else they would be unclean. The Pharisees considered nothing more potentially defiling than a corpse, which they avoided at all cost. They believed that one became defiled even when one’s shadow crossed a dead body or a grave. That is some of the reason why in the parable to the “Good Samaritan,” the Pharisees bypassed the injured man for fear he was dead and they would be defiled. Because of the fear of defilement, each spring, tombs were coated with a limestone-and-water mixture, (i.e., whitewashed tombs), to make them highly visible to passersby.

Therefore, Jesus is saying, if men came in contact with the Pharisees, they would thus become unclean, not as a result of touching a dead body, but in this case, because of their dead works. Matthew’s account said this clearly at the end of the passage with, “all uncleanness.” Interestingly, during festival times, the Jews would whitewash the graves so visitors to Jerusalem would not step on them and thereby become ceremonially unclean. Such uncleanness would keep the impure from God. So, this strong denunciation from Jesus was quite an insult to the Pharisees.

Jesus called the Pharisees hidden whitewashed tombs, meaning that they, like unrecognizable graves, were hiding their true nature (i.e., death and uncleanliness), because of the self-righteous legalistic arrogance seen in their human good works. Jesus rebuked them with such severity because He recognized the potential danger they held for those who became their followers. Unwittingly, these followers would also be defiled for placing trust in their religious leaders. As Swindoll puts it, “They became agents of defilement rather than mediators of redemption,” (Swindoll’s Living Insights).

Therefore, Jesus was rebuking these Pharisees because of their falsification of the Law and arrogance within their souls. He desired to reprove their way of thinking so that they would come to know the truth and receive the Savior / Messiah / King that was right before them. To do so, they first had to take their eyes off of self and then clearly see Jesus for who He is. As such, we need to remove any legalistic arrogance from our souls so that we too can see Jesus more clearly as we serve one another.

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:

#20-034, 20-035, 20-036

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If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.

Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.

So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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