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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


10. Jesus' Sermon Against the Spirit of the Pharisees and the Scribes (Luke 11:37-54)

LUKE 11:37-44
37 And as He spoke, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. So He went in and sat down to eat. 38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed before dinner. 39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. 
40 Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you. 42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 
43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.”

Christ was not against personal cleanliness, but objected to the thought that washing purifies man as the Pharesees taught and practised these rites. He said to the Pharisees, “You deceive yourselves, thinking of keeping the law by observing external ceremonies, while your hearts are full of enmity, meanness, jealousy, evil, and impurity. Realize that this is hypocrisy; be converted; ask your Lord for illumination, for he knows you both within and without; be ashamed of the state of your hearts, that the light of the Lord may overcome you; return to their owners all the goods you have stolen from people; and divide the profit among the poor. It is not the tithe which you sacrifice that saves you, but the gospel alone, which teaches you compassion to the needy.

Our heart will show great love whenever the power of God changes it, and then you will sacrifice not only the tithe, but your whole life will become a sacrifice, as Christ sacrificed his life for us. So what about your sacrifice? How does it appear?

Be aware, dear brother, that Christ is not satisfied with your tithe, but he wants to sanctify your whole life as a sacrifice of thanksgiving. All your thoughts and achievements are unavailing to you. If you hated someone, your heart would become disobedient, and then you would stop the power of God’s love. Forgive your enemy immediately and completely. Pardon him, love him, and sacrifice as much as you can for him and for everybody. Live for Christ, God’s sacrifice who redeemed the world by his death. By that, you strive for truth by your prayers, and cleanse the atmosphere in your working place. Do not struggle agressively uttering obscenities and curses, but by your humility, practical suggestions, and humble patience spread the knowledge of Christ. He is the incarnate truth, may your friends be aware of their sins in his righteousness, and obtain their sanctification through his Spirit. Devotion to Christ alone saves you and your people.

A boy stood before a mirror, and looked for a few minutes at himself. He loved himself and did not see his sins, for he was self-conceited. Such people strut and swagger like peacocks in the street. They become puffed up when they read their names in newspapers. They are proud to be invited to a banquet, if they win a game, if they are honored or seated in the front seats at festivals. They greet people in the streets pompously, and wish people to greet them and bow to them. They look forward to receiving many letters from their admirers. They become inflated with pride, but are hypocrites who display a false humility. They are like Satan who became proud and fell from heaven. Blessed are you if you do not deceive yourself and imagine yourself to be important and righteous. We are all unrighteous. Look at the glory of God that you may not ignore the truth of his kingdom.

In the past, it was considered to touch a tomb with one’s foot made one unclean. However some tombs were overgrown with grass, and people who walked over them were unaware of them. So if anyone trod on it by ignorance, he was considered unclean for one week, and had to purify himself before God. Christ considered the teachers of his time not only unclean for passing over some commandments, but also a reason for making others unclean just as concealed tombs. From outside, the Pharisees looked like saints, but their hearts were filled with death, malice, lying, hatred, and covetousness. With this spirit they infected others, and spread the disease of spiritual deadness artfully concealed with false profession of devotion.

This was the first part of Jesus’ statement to his host during the feast. Do you consider it strange that the Son of God so loved his enemies that he spoke the truth openly to them to save them? Do you flatter your enemies and friends, or do you help them honestly by telling them the truth?

PRAYER: O Lord, I am full of whoredom, pride, and artifice. I am a hypocrite. Please put to death my evil heart, and cast out the deceitful, hypocritical spirit that I may be filled with your love and righteousness based on your grace. May I sacrifice my money, and offer all my life a sacrifice to your and to others.

QUESTION 83: Why did Christ rebuke his host to this extent?


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