Pastor's Blog

The heading in my Bible that precedes verse 37 in Luke 11 says Six Woes. Jesus was the invited guest at a meal with a Pharisee. In fact, it would appear that there was more than one Pharisee along with some experts in Jewish law that had been invited to share this meal together. It is easy to read this passage in which Jesus is pointing out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and become very critical of the Pharisees. After all, they are the “bad guys” all through the ministry of Jesus. For the most part, Pharisees rejected and even hated Jesus. However, this morning as I read the words of Jesus to this group of very “religious” people I am reminded that if I am not careful I can miss the mark as well. I believe Jesus’ words to these two groups of men call us to take personal inventory of where our hearts are today. Perhaps we should be asking ourselves some questions, such as:

1. Am I more concerned about looking holy or being holy? (Verses 39-41)

2. Are my priorities the same as God’s priorities? (Verse 42)

3. Am I living for God’s glory or my own? (Verse 43)

4. What kind of influence am I to people watching me? (Verse 44) One of the things that would make a Jewish person “unclean” was to come in contact with a corpse. When you were “unclean” you were not welcome in the place of worship. During holy days the Jews would whitewash the markers on graves so people would not inadvertently walk on one and become contaminated. Jesus was saying to the Pharisees, your influence on people does not lead them to holiness but to just the opposite!

5.Am I more concerned with the letter of the law or the heart of the law? (Verse 46)

6. Do I hear and receive the Word of the Lord from those he has sent to speak into my life? Or do I just listen to the ones who say the things I want to hear? (Verses 47-51)

7. Am I inclined to be legalistic and make it difficult for others to enter the kingdom of God? (Verse 52)

Jesus was sharing these thoughts with the people who thought they were the best in the land in terms of holiness and understanding of the Law. But the fact is they had become very self-righteous and self-centered and were missing the mark completely. The point is, that can happen to anyone of us if our focus is on self rather than on Jesus and his kingdom.

In this context I hear the hurt in Jesus heart as he says to the Pharisees and lawyers, “Woe to you.” He was heartbroken over their spiritual blindness and hard hearts. I contrast that with what we read yesterday morning in chapter 10 verse 21: At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said . . .

My prayer for you and me today is, Lord, may our lives bring to you great joy today as we surrender our lives to you and your purposes. May our hearts be pure before you and your Spirit flow through us. May your kingdom come and your will be done!

Suggested Readings To Read Through The Bible In A Year

Fri.     Aug.19, 2011   Isaiah 14-15, Psalm 44:9-26, Prov. 19, Luke 11

Sat.    Aug. 20, 2011   Isaiah 16–18, Psalm 45, Prov. 20, Luke 12

Sun.   Aug. 21, 2011   Isaiah 19-21, Psalm 46, Prov. 21, Luke 13

Mon.  Aug. 22, 2011   Isaiah 22-23, Psalm 47, Prov. 22, Luke 14

Tues. Aug. 23, 2011   Isaiah 24-26, Psalm 48, Prov. 23, Luke 15

 

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