Projecting Hypocrisy (Lent 10-2019)

Luke 11:37 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table.  38 But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.

“That’s just one of the problems with sin,” Jesus thought as He reflected on the scene of the blind crowds being led by blind Pharisees.  When your own human leaders (especially ones whom other men admire) go the way of darkness, it’s harder than ever to find oneself craving the light or finding life.  He hoped the crowds would see through the hypocrisy.  After all,

They are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” ( Matthew 15:14)

For that reason, it was every bit as important to preach to the leaders as to the crowds.  He turned to the surprised Pharisee. 

Luke 11:39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.  40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you– be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.”

The Pharisee who invited him and the others gathered bristled at the criticism.  The truth is they’d set themselves up as judges over Jesus.  But Jesus was having none of it.  He knew their hypocrisy and how it was projected against Himself.  They’d already set themselves up in order to condemn Him.  He said,

Luke 11:42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.  43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.  44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.”

Indeed, their hypocrisy was evident even among the people.  The crowds complained behind closed doors but were afraid to say anything.  With Jesus’ saying this publicly, all eyes were on Him.

Luke 11:45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.”

Jesus nodded, affirming that hypocrisy in the leaders was plentiful enough for any willing to see it.

Luke 11:46 Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

The expert’s jaw dropped.  He had expected an apology and got an accusation every bit as pointed as to the Pharisees!  Jesus said it with such authority!  It’s like He knew their hearts!

Luke 11:47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them.  48 So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.  52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”

The truth had been spoken.  The welcome had become worn.  Jesus had done the necessary teaching about their projected hypocrisy and decided to leave.  Enemies had been made.  The truth does that kind of thing.

Think about it: 

  • The truth is feared by those living in darkness. Why do you think that is? Who do they really think they’re hiding from?
  • In Luke 11:53-54 we read, “When Jesus went outside, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, waiting to catch him in something he might say.” Why did they begin an inquisition, trying to project their failings onto others and to catch Jesus in something?
  • Think about our world and the many ways Christianity had been removed from acceptable speech in the public square, cross memorial exhibits, and nativities. In what ways do people today try to take away the key to knowledge and prevent others from entering into knowledge of deliverance?

Thank You, Father for the courage to stand for You when it’s easier to deny You. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being the Way, the Truth, and the Life. May we have the wisdom to seek You and Your righteousness and reject the darkness of evil. Holy Spirit, please guide us into a life of conformity with Your truth and to speak Your Word boldly, even in the public square. Lord, help us to embolden others and may we gain strength to persevere from each other in the community of the faithful. May we see that time is dwindling and our witness is more imperative, day by day. Help us to be like the men of Issachar who understood the times. May we live as wise people for Your glory. Amen.

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Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 16, 2019

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