A Pharisee invited Jesus to eat with him. Jesus accepted, went in and sat down at the table. But the Pharisee was shocked when Jesus didn’t wash before the meal in accordance with their religious regulations.
That prompted this from Jesus:
Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
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.
Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.
Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.
That was too much for an expert in the law who was in attendance. “Teacher,” he said, “when you say these things, you insult us also.” Here’s how Jesus responded:
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.
Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 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.” Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 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.
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.
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.
Let’s look at our 2 BIG Questions:
1. Who exactly is Jesus?
THE teacher and THE expert in the law.
2. What exactly does he want us to do?
Be clean on the inside. Be generous to the poor. Pursue justice and the love of God instead of popularity and power. Don’t burden others needlessly, hide the key to knowledge or do anything else to hinder them from entering God’s Kingdom.
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