The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 11:45-54 ~ Religion Lays Down Heavy Burdens. Christ Takes Away Our Burdens in Grace for Freedom ~ Legalism Rejects Those Sent by God & Stops People from Entering His Kingdom ~ The Plotted Revenge Against Our Lord Led to His Passion Week.

Vol. 19, No. 14 – April 12, 2020

4 12 20-Luke 11 vs 45-54The Gospel of Luke
Chapter 11

H. Rejection by Pharisees and Lawyers, Luke 11:37-54.
2. Rebuke of the Lawyers’ Unbelief, vs. 45-52.

In Matthew’s parallel account, Mat 23, Jesus addressed the woe judgments to both the Pharisees and Lawyers/Scribes. Luke chose to break them out between them. So, here we have the woes against the Lawyers/Scribes because of their unbelief that led to false teaching, which led the people away from a true relationship with God as well. The Scribes were concerned with understanding the legal side of the Law as it related to God’s will. While their original purpose had merit, they had become so engrossed with the letter of the Law that they were blind to its spirit or intent. Thus, in their teachings, they too led the people to be engrossed with the details where they could not see the portrait of Jesus Christ.

Vs. 45

Luke 11:45, “One of the lawyers said to Him in reply, “Teacher, when You say this, You insult us too.”

Teacher,” DIDASKALOS, tells us something here. As I have pointed out previously in Luke’s Gospel, calling Jesus “teacher,” while in some instances is a respectful term, was in this instance showing how they truly thought about Him. They did not call Him Lord, as His disciples typically did, because they did not believe that He was their King / Messiah / Savior. They had a humanistic respect for His knowledge and wisdom in teaching, but they never saw Him as God incarnate, their Savior, and therefore, their Lord. Using this term is a subtle indication of their unbelief.

Because of Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees above, these Lawyers were also offended by Jesus’ remarks because they had the same false beliefs and religious structure as the Pharisees. “Insult,” is the Greek Verb in the Present, Active, Indicative of HUBRIZO, ὑβρίζω that means, “treat disgracefully, be insolent to, mistreat, abuse, scoff or insult.” It was used passively to mean, “to be arrogant or rude,” and had the connotation of severity and harshness. The passive meaning is in view here, as Jesus did not physically harm them. Therefore, this comment was a rebuke of Jesus by the Scribes in calling Him arrogant and insulting.

Its other usages in the NT are more of the physical type of mistreatment.

It is used five times in the NT. In addition to Luke’s usage here, it is used in Mat 22:6, for the mistreatment of a slave, in Luke 18:32 for the mistreatment of Jesus leading up to His crucifixion, and in Acts 14:5; 1 Thes 2:2 for the mistreatment of Paul and his companions on their missionary journeys.

Therefore, the Lawyers were in like kind offended / insulted by Jesus’ woe judgments to the Pharisees. This behavior is not surprising; the Pharisees always considered themselves to be correct in their actions and motives. Any rebuke would seem to come from someone whose motives were not correct. In essence, the Lawyer was saying, “You attack one of us, You attack all of us. If You crush this stone, the entire temple is likely to come down on You!” (Swindoll’s Living Insights.)

Nevertheless, even though they were offended at Jesus’s remarks to the Pharisees, Jesus is about to give them their own woe judgments that are even more severe than what He gave to the Pharisees. Remember, the Pharisees led the people, which intensified their accountability before God, yet the Lawyers led the Pharisees, teaching them everything they knew. Therefore, the Scribes could be called “super-Pharisees,” with even more accountability before God; “To whom much is given, much is required,” Luke 12:48.

Next, we have three woe judgments against the Lawyers/Scribes, just as there were three against the Pharisees. Even though the Lawyers revealed the offense they took at Jesus’ previous judgments, Jesus does not placate them or apologize. Instead, He rightly brings rebuke and judgment against their unbelief and subsequent legalism.

Vs. 46

Luke 11:46, “But He said, “Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers.”

This first woe is paralleled in Mat 23:4.

Jesus was unyielding by the lawyer’s attempt to shut Him up. He understood the nature of their wickedness and that niceties would not penetrate their veneer of self-righteous arrogance.  Therefore, He rightly rebukes the false teaching of legalism that they were peddling.

Jesus’ judgment reads in the Greek, “For you burden the men with burdens heavy to bear.” “Burden” is the verb PHORTIZO, φορτίζω that comes from the shipping industry that means, “to load, burden, or lade.” Therefore, Jesus is rebuking the Lawyers who loaded people with detailed interpretations of the Law that rendered their religion false.

This word is only used here and in Mat 11:28, where in contrast Jesus takes our burdens from us, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Our verse also twice uses the Noun PHORTION that means, “load, burden, cargo, obligation, or duty.” It is also used in Mat 11:30; 23:4; Gal 6:5. It is intensified with the Adjective, DUSBASTAKTOS, δυσβάστακτος that is only used here in this narrative in Matthew and Luke that means, “difficult or burdensome to carry, or hard to bear (burdens).” Its root, BASTAZO, means, “intolerable or grievous to be borne.” Therefore, the application of the Law that these Scribes were laying down on the shoulders of the people were too much for anyone to bear.

These burdens placed upon the people by the Pharisees and Lawyers were precise stipulations that enslaved them. The Mosaic Law, given by God, was meant to enhance life in Israel, not to restrict it. But through the centuries the “traditions of the elders” had developed to spell out the meaning of the laws. By the time of Jesus, these had accumulated until they were oppressive, managing the smallest detail of family and social life, as well as religious ritual. Interestingly, the history of those days reveals that those who developed these burdensome restrictions many times did not obey them themselves. They imposed the full load of the Law and its guilt on people, binding them without grace while not abiding by it themselves.

That is why Jesus says, “While you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers.”

Touch,” is the Verb PROSPSAUO. It is only used here in the NT. “Finger” is the noun DAKTULOS. Luke previously used it in vs. 20, in the context of the power of God to cast out demons. In this we have the comparison. The finger / power of God casts out demons from those afflicted, thereby lighting their burden, while the Lawyers, who lay down heavy burdens on the people with their system of human good works, do not participate in them themselves, nor alleviate the people from the true burden of sin, which they claimed the works would do.

The implication is that they purposely made the laws difficult to follow in order to bring about moral failure in others. The Jews labored under a man-made burden of religiosity, an endless list of rules that governed virtually every aspect of life, all based on laws handed down by God, but twisted and inflated to serve the desire of one group of people to dominate another. Because the people could not completely abide by their laws, they would have to go to the Pharisees and Lawyers to seek absolution. As a result, earnest Jews were spiritually demoralized and incapable of meeting their demands. In the end, the scribes remained kings of the moral hill by keeping down earnest Jews. Our Lord tells us in Jer 23:25-40, that He is against the false teacher of false doctrines.

Jer 23:30-32, “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the LORD, “who steal My words from each other. 31Behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the LORD, “who use their tongues and declare, ‘The Lord declares.’  32Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams,” declares the LORD, “and related them and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit,” declares the LORD.”

Therefore, Jesus characterizes them as sadistic hypocrites because of their false teachings. The people were burdened with removing their own sin through their human good works found in the ritualistic and legalistic worship they prescribed, yet the lawyers did not hold themselves to the same laws that they mandated the people to keep. Man cannot remove his own sin. Yet, God can remove our sins because of the Cross of Jesus Christ. As such, Jesus condemned the legal experts for not even being willing to lift a “finger” to help God’s people live righteously, because they were not leading people to the Christ / Messiah / Savior; the only One who could remove their sins and lead them to live righteously before God.

The main point here goes back to vs. 41, “Give your soul to the Lord if you want to be clean.” Self-righteous legalist-ic types think their works will make them clean and overcome their sin. Yet, our Lord offers His gospel to those who know that their lives are messed up because of sin and that they need a Savior. They know their need for repentance, and they turn to Jesus for His salvation. Sinners who turn to Jesus and trust in Him are cleansed by Christ.  The Christ-Centered Expo-sition commentary puts it like this:

  • If you accept Christ as your Savior, and follow Him, He will cleanse you both positionally and experientially.

If you feel dirty, soiled, and unclean, He will make you anew through the washing of regeneration at salvation, Titus 3:5, and the cleansing of all unrighteousness post-salvation, through the con-fession of your sins, 1 John 1:9.

Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in right-eousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renew-ing by the Holy Spirit.”

  • If you feel broken and torn apart, come to the one who washes souls, heals, and mends you, who will take the pieces of your life and make you whole. Come to Christ!

Paul explains the proper use of the Law in Gal 3:24: “The law was our schoolmaster / tutor to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

Gal 2:16, “Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”

As for Preachers, be sure your souls are secure in the salvation of Christ. The Puritan pastor Richard Baxter offers sober words for preachers of God’s Word: “Take heed to yourselves lest you should be void of that saving grace of God which you offer to others, and be strangers to the effectual working of that gospel which you preach; and lest, while you proclaim the necessity of a Savior to the world, your hearts should neglect Him, and you should miss of an interest in Him and His saving benefits. Take heed to yourselves, lest you perish while you call upon others to take heed of perishing, and lest you famish yourselves while you prepare their food. . . . Many men have warned others that they come not to the place of torment, which yet they hasted to themselves; many a preacher is now in hell, that hath an hundred times called upon his hearers to use the utmost care and diligence to escape it.” (Reformed Pastor, 53)

As for the Church, be careful how you hear the Word of God. You can tell what you prefer by whether or not you accept the hard truth gladly or become an enemy of the truth teller. When a hard truth hits a hard heart, you get sparks and resistance. You cannot soften the truth or it ceases to be the truth. A hard heart must be broken. What breaks it is the truth of God’s Word, Jer 23:29. “Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?” God expects His word to fall like a hammer and break up the rocky heart. A good preacher never shades or softens the truth. He never preaches the truth unlovingly, but he does preach it unflinchingly. That is how our Lord preached in this passage.

It is the hearer’s responsibility to keep a soft heart. A soft heart is like a fluffy pillow. When the word falls into a soft heart it rests gently and comfortably in that heart. That is the hearer’s responsibility. How do you keep a soft heart toward God and his word?

  • Pray for a soft heart. If ever you notice hardness in the heart, pray for a fresh softening.
  • Read and meditate on God’s Word daily. It is by the Word our hearts are changed and made glad before God.
  • Receive God’s Word in faith. Do not receive it as cold and dead. The Word is alive and active, Heb 4:12, so take it into your heart.
  • Apply God’s Word and obey it. If we read the Bible, God will speak to us; but we will receive more from His voice in the Bible if we commit ourselves to obeying it.
  • Expect God’s blessings in righteousness and growth.

Vs. 47-51

Luke 11:47-51, “Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them. 48So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs.49For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, 50so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.’”

This second woe is paralleled in Mat 23:29, 34-36, cf. Neh 9:26.

Neh 9:26, “But they became disobedient and rebelled against You, and cast Your law behind their backs and killed Your prophets who had admonished them so that they might return to You, and they committed great blasphemies.”

Vs. 47,

The Lord tells them that the fruit does not fall far from the tree. They are just like their “fathers,” PATER, before them. “Building the tombs of the prophets,” OIKODOMEO HO MNEMEION HO PROPHETES, is analogous for destroying and “killing,” APOKTEINO, them, which He says outright is what their forefathers did. This is also foretelling what they would do to Jesus.

In fact, the Pharisees used to honor the ancient prophets who were slain by their fathers by renovating their tombs! Yet, true honor would have included obedience and repentance. By their actions, the Pharisees implied their approval of the actions of previous Jews in killing the prophets. They also implied that they would be willing to follow in that tradition and kill any prophet who spoke rightly of God, including Jesus.

“The Jews had indeed erected magnificent structures to commemorate the Old Testament prophets. In the Kidron Valley today, to be seen from the walled “Old City,” are several large edifices, reported to be the “tombs of the prophets.” Even in their state of disrepair they have a rugged beauty. It is believed their origin may be traced back to the First Century of the Christian Era. If so, they are the tombs Jesus was describing as He indicted His opponents.” (Complete Bibli-cal Library Commentary).

Vs. 48,

To show their guilt, Jesus equates the current generation of Pharisees and Scribes with their unbelieving or reversionistic forefather, in saying, “you bear witness,” MARTUS, where we get the word martyr from. So in this case, the Scribes and Pharisees are witnesses and observers to the killings, as they give their “consent,” SUNEUDOKEO, “to approve, be pleased with, consent, agree with, etc.,” to the killings. This word is first used here in the NT, and then in Acts 8:1; 22:20, regarding Saul / Paul consenting with the crowd that stoned Stephen to death; the first martyr.

With the consenting, Jesus doubles down on the “killing and building of the tombs” of the OT prophets, who were killed by the self-righteous legalistic forefathers. He tells them that this generation of religious leaders is no different; they are “access-ories,” to the crime!

Speaking of the “tombs,” also plays off of the “whitewashed tombs” analogy that Matthew adds to this narrative, showing their hypocrisy.

Vs. 49,

Here, Jesus tells them of the “wisdom of God,” SOPHIA HO THEOS, in “sending,” APOSTELLO, to the people of His generation “prophets,” PROPHETES, and “apostles,” APOSTOLOS. In other words, God will give them every opportunity to hear and know the truth of salvation, as He sends them messengers, even though they will “kill and persecute them,” APOKTEINO KAI DIOKO, in the Future, Active, Indicative. They will kill off the ones who are bringing them the only hope of salvation, beginning with Jesus Himself.

Matthew’s account, Mat 23:34-36, includes Jesus saying that they will crucify some of them, as Jesus and Peter were. They would also scourge and persecute others from city to city. As such, prophets and apostles both suffered death and per-secution, Acts 12:1, 2; 13:45; 14:2; 17:5; Rev 1:9. Yet, the Gospel increased even in their deaths.

Vs. 50,

The Greek begins with the “charged against” idea, using the Verb EKZETEO, ἐκζητέω that means, “seek out, seek diligently, or require.” It is first used in the NT here and in vs. 51, and has the meaning of “to require, demand, exact severely or charge with a crime,” meaning they would be held accountable / judged for their actions of killing and persecuting the prophets and apostles, (i.e., “pour out their blood,” EKCHUNO, “pour, shed, or spill,” HAIMA, “blood”).

Jesus triples down on their guilt saying, “from the foundation of the world,” APO KATABOLE KOSMOS. In other words, because of their rejection of Jesus and the apostles’ message of salvation, they will be held accountable for all the martyred witnesses from the beginning of human history, as specified in the next passage. The reason for this is because they had the information about all the prior witnesses of righteousness recorded in their Bible, starting with the children of Adam and Eve.

Therefore, it is not just the current prophets, apostles, and evangelists that they have rejected, (including Jesus Christ), but all the witnesses throughout their history, as record in their own Scriptures. Because of their rejection of this mass of witnesses and evidence, they will be held accountable for their unbelief and antagonism. Each generation is given an opportunity to repent and change the course of evil. Jesus’ words offered no hope other than radical repentance.

Vs. 51,

Here we have two very famous OT saints who were martyred for their faith and true righteousness, Abel and Zachariah. The death of Abel was the first in the OT, Gen 4:8. The reason Zachariah (Zechariah) is mentioned last is because the book of 2 Chronicles is the final book in the Hebrew Bible. Therefore, Jesus argued that from beginning to end, the death of God’s prophets had been the trademark of God’s people.

The shedding of Abel’s blood is noted in Gen 4:8, when his brother Cain murdered him out of jealousy. Able sacrificed according to God’s Word from his flock of sheep. As you know, that type of sacrifice typified Jesus’ sacrifice upon the Cross. Cain, on the other hand, sacrificed fruits and vegetables that he tilled from the ground. His sacrifice typified human good works, similar to that of the Pharisees and Scribes, the self-righteous. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice because it was according to His Word, which spoke of God’s grace provision of the sacrifice, while He rejected Cain’s that spoke of man’s work that is tainted with sin. As a result, Cain became jealous of his brother and killed him. Therefore, Abel’s death speaks to the truly righteous person who is killed / martyred because of their faith. The Scribes did not miss the point of the murder over a religious issue.

In addition, Gen 4:10, notes that Abel’s “blood was crying from the ground,” for justice. Jesus is saying that as that justice was exacted on Cain in his curse, so will justice be exacted on this generation.

The shedding of Zachariah’s blood is noted in 2 Chron 24:20-22, where he was stoned to death by the people at the command of the king, Joash, for teaching the truth of God’s Word, rebuking the King and the people for not following the commandments of God, and their idolatry.

Interestingly, in vs. 22, Zachariah’s last words were, “May the LORD see and avenge!”, are fulfilled in Jesus’ woe judgment against these Scribes. “Avenge,” is the Hebrew word DARASH that means, “to seek, inquire, or require,” that correlates to vs. 50 above, where Luke records our Lord using the Greek word EKZETEO translated, “charged against” that means, “seek out, seek diligently, or require.” They both mean that the blood someone has spilled, will come back to them in judgment. This is the same as saying, “Abel’s blood is crying out.”

In using this same woe judgment, our Lord was drawing their attention to the details of the Scriptures in Genesis 4 and 2 Chronicles that the Scribes should have noted and understood. As such, they should have understood that the “woe judgment” Zachariah proclaimed against those who stoned him to death, was the same as what Jesus was proclaiming against them. Zachariah’s prophecy would be fulfilled regarding those who killed him, just as the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day would be judged and condemned for their unbelief and evil, especially because they killed the greatest Prophet and Apostle of all time; Jesus himself. I love how our Lord uses Scriptures when dealing with the quote, “experts of the Law.”

Not only was this a rebuke and judgment against the Scribes, but it was against “this generation,” meaning all the unbelievers of Jesus’ time. Therefore, Jesus reminded His listeners that the blood of the prophets would be required of any generation that heard the call to repentance, but refused to acknowledge their evil ways and turn to God.

Vs. 52,

Luke 11:52, “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.”

This third woe is paralleled in Mat 23:13, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

In this woe judgment, Jesus rebukes them for withholding the truth of the knowledge of salvation from the people. The “woes” now reach their climax as Jesus clarified the real effect of their self-righteous systems. By their legalism, the Pharisees locked the door of the knowledge of salvation that could set people free.

Key,” is the Noun KLEIS that means, “that instrument or tool that unlocks.” It was frequently used as a symbol or metaphor for various kinds of power or authority to open or to close. Four times in Revelation and once in Matthew the word “key” is used with regard to releasing the power of the Kingdom, Mat 16:19; Rev 1:18; 3:7; 9:1; 20:1. Here, it suggests the grace and power of God in freeing people from the Law and granting access to the truth ultimately found in Jesus Christ. Comparing the parallel in Mat 23:13 that does not use the word key, we see it refers specifically to the kingdom of heaven which the Scribes and Pharisees did not enter and which they also denied to others by their legalism. The only time Matthew uses this word is in Mat 16:19, when our Lord said He would give “the keys of the kingdom of heaven” to him. Meaning, Peter would have the necessary authority to give the gospel of Jesus Christ to others.

Therefore, our Lord is saying that these Scribes where the roadblock to people entering the Kingdom of Heaven, when they thought they were the key, and told the people that they were. This is a direct renunciation of their authority as spiritual leaders of Israel. He told them they themselves are not part of the Kingdom, have never entered it, and they are stopping or preventing others from entering it too.

What a devastating condem-nation of these religious leaders. Perhaps the hottest parts of hell are reserved for such religious leaders, who knowing the gospel will not preach it, who knowing the entrance to heaven will not point it out, who will not enter that blessed kingdom themselves and forbid others also. The agony of their condemnation will be terrible. Therefore, the Lord tells them that their guilt remains on their hands. They are not saved and keep others from being saved. They are not the kind of preachers you want for your soul.

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

Luke 11:53-54, “When He left there, the Scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to question Him closely on many subjects, 54plotting against Him to catch Him in something He might say.”

In this passage we see the two groups, Pharisees and Scribes, working together to destroy our Lord and His ministry.

“Be very hostile,” is the Adverb DEINOS, δεινῶς that means, “terribly, excessively, or vehemently.” It is only used here and Mat 8:6, to describe the fear in a paralyzed servant of the Centurion who was “viciously tormented,” which Jesus healed and took away his torment.

In regard to these Scribes and Pharisees, the idea is not simply that they urged our Lord a great deal or continuously, but it conveys that their actions were vicious, mean, and hostile in intent and method. Louw-Nida describes it as “an extreme point on a scale involving negative values,” (Greek-English Lexicon).

With the Adverb is the Verb ENECHO, ἐνέχω, in the Present, Active, Infinitive that means, “be angry, hold a grudge, or be ensnared.” It is only used here and Mark 6:19; Gal 5:1. It conveyed the meaning of “having a grudge against” Jesus and acting upon Him with hostility, connoting being at enmity with or attacking Him.

“To question Him closely,” uses the Verb APO-STOMATIZO, ἀποστοματίζω that means, “provoke to speak or interrogate.” As such, the Pharisees and Scribes were trying to provoke Him to say something that they might catch Him in saying something wrong or not according to the Scriptures. As you know, in the OT, they could stone to death false prophets, Deut 13:6-10. So, they were hoping to catch Jesus as a false prophet.

Luke records other incidents were the Scribes and Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if they could catch Him and get rid of Him.

Luke 6:7, “The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him.”  Cf. Mark 3:2.

Luke 14:1, “It happened that when He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, they were watching Him closely.”

Luke 20:20, “So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they could deliver Him to the rule and the authority of the governor.” Cf. Mat 22:13-17; Mark 12:13-17.

Vs. 54,

Luke 11:54, “Plotting against Him to catch Him in something He might say.”

Plotting” is the Verb ENEDREUO, ἐνεδρεύω that means, “wait to ambush, lie in wait, plot, or lurk,” is used here and Acts 23:31. This kind of “ambushing” someone, pre-supposes a plot made beforehand. In this case, as noted above, they were trying to “catch,” Him in some false statement. “Catch,” is the Verb THEREUO, θηρεύω that means, “to hunt or catch,” and is only used here in the NT. Its figurative meaning is “to lay wait for, strive to ensnare, or to catch artfully.”  Here, the Pharisees and Scribes were plotting against Jesus so they could discredit Him before the people, and turn Him over to the authorities to destroy Him. Some translations, like the KJV, add that context with “that they might accuse Him.” But, that phrase is not in the most reliable Greek texts.

In these two passages, we have strong language that indicates a radical break in the relationship between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day. They saw Him as a young preacher from Nazareth who was now their number one religious enemy. After Jesus’ strong rebuke, they understood what His message was and they were fearful of its implications. They were locked in to their self-righteous legalism steeped in their traditions, and apparently did not obey the voice of God. As such, they were aggressive in their attacks and sought to provoke Him to make verbal mistakes. It is a picture of unyielding harassment. Wher-ever He went, they were there, trying to catch Him off guard so they could accuse Him to the people and the authorities. “Deceit was the order of the day, and they were determined to find a way to end His witness. They had become like men on the hunt. Jesus had become an animal to be pursued and caught so He might be finished.” (Complete Biblical Library)

Therefore, because of Jesus’ reproving and rebuking, these self-righteous Pharisees and Scribes plotted to ensnare Jesus in some kind of falsehood, so that they could condemn Him before the people and the authorities, hoping to end His ministry and influence over the people.

This ends our study of Luke Chapter 11 that began with our Lord teaching His disciples how to pray, (remember this is not what to pray). Then after healing the possessed man, He was accused by the Pharisees of being in league with Satan, by which He performed His miracles. Jesus then gave them sound reasoning as to why He could not be working with Satan. Next, He gave them the only sign He would give regarding who He was, which was the sign of the Prophet Jonah and his great missionary work in Nineveh that was preceded by being the belly of the great fish for three day and three nights that spoke of His death upon the Cross and resurrection. After that, because He was antagonized again by the Pharisees for not honoring their legalistic traditions, Jesus rebuked first the Pharisees and then the Scribes, each receiving three “Woe Judgments,” that condemned their self-righteous religiosity. And finally we see the Pharisees and Scribes joining together to seek revenge against Him by plotting to entrap Him in some falsehood, so that they could destroy Him and His ministry.

Given that this is the week in which we celebrate our Lord’s death upon the Cross and Resurrection, we will read Luke’s story line of the “Passion Week” of our Lord, Luke 19:28-24:53. As we approach the day of our Lord’s death and resurrection, the attached chart shows the timeline of the events that occurred.

4 9 20 - Luke 11 vx 53-54 - The plotted revenge against our Lord led to His Passion Week - 1

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

#20-037, 20-038, 20-039

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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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