Wednesday, September 14, 2005

the worst dinner guest ever part two

The Meals of Jesus: The Worst Diner Guest Ever
Part Two Luke 11.37 – 54

As Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees for tithing but forgettin justice and
the love of God (Luke 11.42); seeking honor from people and not God
(11.43); and finally for being unmarked graves that look good on the
outside but on the inside are dead and decaying (Luke 11.44). In the
middle of this an “expert of the law” spoke up and said “Teacher,
when you say these things, you insult us as well.” (Luke 11.45)

So the “expert of the law” steps into the line of fire and Jesus lets him
and his collegues know what is wrong with them. First Jesus rebukes
them for loading people down with burdens and doing nothing to help
them (Luke 11.46). Their teachings are hard to follow and it is
difficult to live out what the experts are teaching. To make matters
worse the teachers are unwilling to help people live out what they
are teaching. They have forgotten that we, as teachers, are called to
challenge people to live a life that glorifies God. We can not forget
that it is not easy. We need to help those who are new to Christ or
are struggleing to live a life pleaseing to God. We need to show
them forgiveness. We need to show them that we also struggle to live
a God pleasing life. We need to bare each others burdens.

Then he rebukes them for honoring the prophets with fancy tombs
but not honoring the teaching or life of the prophet. Their “fathers”
killed these prophets and didn't follow the teachings of the prophets.
Now the “children”, the teachers of the law are not honoring the
prophets teaching or life but are simply paying lip service to the
prophets lives. The teachers of the law are just as guilty as their
fathers. This is a warning to us as well. As Christians we get caught
up in the birth of Jesus and his crucifiction but we forget about his
life. When Jesus is born he is a small and safe little baby that makes
us all feel good. With the crucifiction Jesus dies, forgives us, raises
from the dead and then ascends into heaven. His life on the other
hand is full of uncomfortable teaching and activity that we need to
honor with our lives.

Finaly Jesus wraps up with the teachers of the law and puts the two
woes together, jut like he did with the pharisees. The teachers of the
law have taken the “key to knowledge” away from the people. Not
only that but they don't use it themselves. The teachers lived in a
time when very few people had access to the written word of God.
The teachers were keeping it to themselves and not sharing it with
the people. They were also not using the key themselves in allowing
the Word to work in their own lives. Unlike the teachers we live in a
time when anyone can buy a copy of the Bible and read it. Many
people will not understand what they read. We need to help them to
understand the messages found in the Bible. The story of God's
wonderful love for us. The story of Jesus' life with us. The teachings
that Jesus, Peter, Paul and others leave for us to help us live in a way
that pleases God.

In conclusion, the woes against the Pharisees and teachers of the
law can apply to us as well. Like the Pharisees we are trying our best
to live a holy, righteous and pure life that pleases the LORD. Like the
teachers of the law, we have access to the Word and are struggling to
understand the Word and its teachings. Like the Pharisee and
teachers we can sometimes be guilty of pride and hypocrasy that lead
us to drift away from God and lead others astray as well. Our
challenge like theirs is to be aware of these pitfalls and to rely on
God's power to stay out of them.
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