Luke Chapter 11 Second Continued
Luke 11:37 “And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.”
This Pharisee was perhaps one who had been dispatched to watch Jesus to see if He might find something that he could accuse Him of. It appears however, that Jesus has impressed the Pharisee enough that he took Jesus home with him.
Luke 11:38 “And when the Pharisee saw [it], he marveled that he had not first washed before dinner.”
“He had not first washed before dinner”: The Pharisee was concerned with ceremony, not hygiene. The Greek word for “washed” refers to a ceremonial ablution. Nothing in the law commanded such washings, but the Pharisees practiced them, believing the ritual cleansed them of any accidental ceremonial defilement.
These Pharisees went through meaningless washings before they ate as a formality. The Pharisees and other people of the synagogue are caught up in ritualistic washings and other senseless formalities. They had no idea at all what any of it meant. They just did what was expected of them and went on. They never even tried to understand why.
Luke 11:39 “And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.”
“Full of ravening and wickedness”: I.e., they were preoccupied with external ceremonies but overlooked the more important issue of internal morality.
Luke 11:40 “[Ye] fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?”
Jesus in these last two verses, is telling this Pharisee that he had taken all kinds of care to make himself, his home, his table, and the things on the table, look perfect from the outside, but he had not done anything to cleanse himself from within. He tells the Pharisee that God, who made him, cares more for the soul within a man than He does all this formality of washing the outside.
Jesus tells the Pharisee that he looks good outside, but is filled with wickedness. The sad thing is this Pharisee thinks he is alright with God because of all these rituals he does. He is lost because his heart is evil.
Luke 11:41 “But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.”
“Give alms of such things as ye have”: This contrasts inner virtues with external ceremonies. Alms are to be given not for show, but as an expression of a faithful heart (Matt. 6:1-4), and the true almsgiving is not the external act, but one’s attitude before God.
Luke 11:42 “But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”
Mint, anise, and cummin are various spices. Some of them were used for fragrance from time to time. They were also ground up and used for medicine. This was not what God had in mind when He spoke of the tithe, but they had gotten so technical with their performance they had forgotten the purpose behind it.
A tithe or tenth of all produce was, by the Mosaic Law, to be given for the use of the priests and Levites (Lev. 27:30). Several species of “mint” grow in Palestine. “Anise” (Greek anethon), is better rendered “dill.” It grew both wild and cultivated, its fruits being used for medicine. The seeds of “cumin,” which resemble caraway, were used as spice in seasoning.
Garden herbs, not the kind of farm produce that the tithe was designed to cover (Lev. 27:30). But the Pharisees fastidiously weighed out a tenth of every herb, perhaps even counting individual dill seeds. Jesus’ point however, was not to condemn their observance of the law’s fine points.
These Pharisees had become so ridiculous about carrying out the tiniest thing about the law they were giving 1/10 of this almost worthless garden stuff. All the time, they were filled with hate and greed.
God wanted their love and obedience, and not just trying to stick to a bunch of rules. God wanted their heart just like He wants our heart. Helping our neighbors and trying to live right before God is the best sacrifice we can make for Him.
Luke 11:43 “Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.”
“Greetings”: These were ostentatious ceremonies that were more or less elaborate depending on the rank of the person being greeted.
Jesus tells this Pharisee that they are too caught up in appearances. They want everyone to think they are big shots. God loves those who are humble, not the ones who pretend to be the high and mighty.
Luke 11:44 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over [them] are not aware [of them].”
“As graves which appear not”: Hidden sources of defilement. They had carefully concealed their own inward corruption, but it still was a source of defilement.
These scribes and Pharisees want to be thought of as important people in the church. Jesus called them hypocrites because their religion is just an outward show. There is no love in their heart.
Jesus is saying they are dead and nobody cares. No one would really miss them, because they never helped anyone but themselves.
Luke 11:45 “Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.”
This lawyer (teacher of the law), is saying, don’t you know you are talking about us. He falsely calls Jesus, Master. People obey their Master. This lawyer has no intention of obeying Jesus.
Luke 11:46 “And he said, Woe unto you also, [ye] lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.”
The ordinances these learned scholars put on their people were many and so great that they become a great burden upon the people. The lawyers themselves did not keep all the ordinances.
One of the things touched on here as well, is that these lawyers never did any physical labor and the common people did. Jesus speaks a woe on them, as a whole, not an individual lawyer who might become a follower of Jesus.
Luke 11:47 “Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchers of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.”
“Ye build the sepulchers of the prophets”: They thought they were honoring those prophets, but in reality, they had more in common with those who killed the prophets (verse 48).
Luke 11:48 “Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchers.”
I believe Jesus is saying to them, that neither they nor their father recognized a prophet until after he was dead. Their fathers did not accept the message the prophets of old brought to them, and these lawyers do not accept the greatest prophet who ever lived, Jesus.
He says, you say you are different because you have built these fancy sepulchers for them; but if you are really different from your fathers, why don’t you believe Me (Jesus).
Luke 11:49 “Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and [some] of them they shall slay and persecute:”
“Said the wisdom of God”: There is no Old Testament source for this quotation. Christ is prophetically announcing the coming judgment of God, not quoting a previously written source, but giving them a direct warning from God.
We see from this that Jesus tells them they kill the prophets and apostles, and we know that is true. Many were killed.
Luke 11:50-51 “That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;” “From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.”
Jesus is speaking prophetically here of His crucifixion. He also, is looking to them stoning Stephen to death, to Peter’s death, the persecution of those who followed Jesus, and then on to the fall of Jerusalem in less than 40 years.
This generation Jesus spoke of is truly the one who physically crucified Jesus, but really all generations from the foundation of the world until now are really guilty, because it was our sin that crucified Jesus.
Luke 11:52 “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”
The key of knowledge”: They had locked up the truth of the Scriptures and thrown away the key by imposing their faulty interpretations and human traditions on God’s Word.
Worse than not accepting Jesus yourself, is when you keep someone else from receiving Jesus as their Savior. This last woe that Jesus speaks on the lawyers here is because they taught people a lie and kept them from receiving Jesus.
Luke 11:53 “And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge [him] vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things:”
This whole meeting was to trap Him into saying something that they could accuse Him of. They really tried to stir Him up so He would get careless and say something they could use to frame Him. They did not know that they were speaking to and trying to trap the Word of God, the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord.
Luke 11:54 “Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.”
“To catch”: The same word is used in Greek literature for the hunting of animals.
Luke Chapter 11 Second Continued Questions
1. Who invited Jesus to have dinner with him?
2. What did the man marvel at?
3. Why did the Pharisees go through all these formalities?
4. The Lord said the Pharisees made the outside of the cup clean, but the inside was full of what?
5. What did Jesus call them in verse 10?
6. With God what is more important than washing the hands?
7. In verse 41, what would make the Pharisees clean unto God?
8. What does the Pharisee tithe in verse 42?
9. What two things had he overlooked?
10. What seats in the synagogues did these Pharisees like?
11. What is the Pharisee too caught up in?
12. Why did Jesus call them hypocrites?
13. Why would no one miss them if they died?
14. Why is it false for this lawyer to call Jesus, Master?
15. In verse 46, Jesus spoke a woe on the lawyers. Why?
16. Jesus said these lawyers built sepulchers to prophets that who had killed?
17. Why did Jesus say these lawyers were different than their fathers?
18. The wisdom of God said I will send them ________ and ______.
19. What will they do to them?
20. Of what generation was the blood of the prophets required?
21. Where did Zechariah perish?
22. Who really crucified Jesus?
23. Why did Jesus speak a woe on the lawyers in verse 52?
24. What is worse than not accepting Jesus for yourself?
25. What was this whole meeting held for?
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