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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 11:45-54
45 Then one of the lawyers answered and said to Him, “Teacher, by saying these things You reproach us also.” 
46 And He said, “Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 48 In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’ 50 that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the alter and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation. 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.” 53 And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, 54 lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him.

Do you preach the gospel, or the law? He, who brings the gospel to the poor says to them, “God loves you, Christ saves you, and his Spirit sanctifies you.” By that the preacher testifies the work of the effectual power of God. But he who preaches the law reproaches his hearers saying to them, “You must pray, you must believe, you are required to offer sacrifice, honor your parents, and live in a pure manner; for if you do not do these duties you will go to into hell.” Woe to the lawyers who teach only commandments, and never know the saving power of God. They are brought down to the lowest level, for they do not do what they require others to do. Therefore we are all sinners in need of God’s grace.

The law leads sinners to repentance and brokenness; and he who is renewed receives the Holy Spirit who is the divine power for keeping the commandments, for the law is not only a mirror for the sinners, but also our motive for sanctification.

Dear brother, do you ask people to do something you yourself do not do, or do you preach, beside the law, the power of God which overcomes sins? Do you look like the strict judge, or the merciful Savior?

Those who are filled with excessive and often misguided enthusiasm for the law are the descendants of killers, for their fathers persecuted and stoned the godly that called for repentance, from the blood of Abel (Genesis 4:8-10) to the prophet Zechariah (2 Chronicles 24:20-22) according to the order of books in the Hebrew Bible, which, unlike the English Bible, ends with Chronicles. These two indications in Christ’s statement mean that the revolution of the teachers against God’s Spirit, dressed in zealous hypocritical godliness, is a characteristic of the teachers of the Old Testament. Imagine the meaning of this statement from the mouth of Christ in front of the dissembling experienced scribes, “Your fathers were killers, and you bury those who have been killed, for you are continuing their murders in the spirit of disobedience, not preaching mercy or repentance, but persecuting the prophets and truthful messengers who preach the Spirit of God and love. You feel your weakness before their power. Yet because of your deceitful spirit that is versed in the Holy Bible, God’s condemnation will fall upon you mercilessly.

Christ exposed the teachings of those men learned in the law who invented many meanings out of the letters, and twisted the original meanings of the words. They did not know God in fact, nor did they let the people search freely in the old books, but reserved the right of interpretation to themselves, and imagined themselves to be greater than the people. Yet they had already lost the key of the knowledge of God, and were unable to enter into the depths of God’s wisdom because of their false and hollow profession of religion. Furthermore, they stopped all the people from coming willingly to God. This appeared clearly in their refusal to acknowledge Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. They were blind to his divinity, though they learnt the prophecies of the Old Testament by heart. Besides this, they incited the people, and prevented them from following Christ, calling him a deceiver, and a false prophet. They went far astray.

Woe to us if we do not present to people our Lord Christ, the only Way to God, the Truth that uncovers our sins, the Righteousness of our comfort, and the Power of everlasting life. Woe to us if we present human personal and political opinions, technologies, or deceitful, illusive philosophies, and have recourse to the law and burdensome commandments. Woe to us if we do not testify the imminent coming of Christ, and the coming of the antichrist before him who will deceive all those who do not expect Christ, their Savior with divine love. Have you experienced the power of God? Have you experienced conversion, and second birth? Has your pride become broken? Did the disobedience of your independence end through your faith in God? We testify to you that Christ is the Savior and the Judge. So never go past him or ignore him.

The teachers contrived to draw Jesus into the snare of their laws. But today Christ calls those who are particularly pious and thoroughly acquainted with the Holy Bible to repent lest they think themselves better than others except by the grace given to them everyday by Christ.

PRAYER: O Lord, I teach the Holy Bible to others. I am but a fool. I do not understand completely your law and your ways. Please change my heart and my mind, and fill me with your love that I may not deceive anybody, but lead men to your Truth with great glory, that they may repent, and receive forgiveness and everlasting life by faith.

QUESTION 84: Why did Christ condemn the experts in the Torah severely?


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