Tuesday, September 06, 2005

the worst dinner guest ever parts one

The Meals of Jesus: The Worst Diner Guest Ever Part One
Luke 11.37 – 54
Imagine you have invited a very important person to diner. This person comes to your house and begins to eat but he never washes his hands. Now you may think this is pretty disgusting there is no telling where his hands have been or what they have touched. You don’t say anything but he knows what you are thinking and confronts you about it! With a lecture about your own hypocrisy! How would you feel?

Now you know how the Pharisee in Luke 11.37 - .54 felt. He has invited Jesus to eat after of day of teaching and healing. They all recline at the table when the Pharisee notices that Jesus has not washed his hands! (Luke 11.37 - .38) With Jesus we have a good idea that he has touches sick people to heal them. All those germs and all that dirt were on his hands. This washing was not just for hygene but also to be ceremonially clean before you ate. His hands were unclean literally and religiously. Now if you read the text carefully you will notice that the Pharisee never says anything but Jesus knows what he is thinking and responds to that with a strong rebuke!

First he confronts them with a general rebuke (Luke 11.39 - .41). The Pharisees are so careful to make sure they look righteous and clean that they have forgotten to clean the insides. Jesus uses the anlogy of a cup or dish. If you have cup that is dirty all over you wash all of it so you can use it but the Pharisees were only cleaning the outside of the cup so that they looked clean but were really dirty on the inside. He tells them they need to clean both the inside of their lives and the outside. You need to care for you wicked and greedy inside like you would take care of a poor person.

Then Jesus gets specific with three “woes” against the Pharisees (Luke 11.42 - .44) and then three against the teachers of the law (Luke 11.46 - .52). All 6 woes are important for us to listen to because they can apply to us today as well. We are going to explore the first three today and then finish out the last three tomorrow.

First He rebukes them for getting the tithe right but forgetting to show justice and the love of God (Luke 11.42). He is accusing them of being hypocrites. They should have done them all! They got tithing down perfect but they forgot to get justice and the love of God right. We face the same danger. We may have baptism, communion and worship down perfectly but do we forget to show justice. Are we neglecting the love of God?

Secondly he rebukes them for loving recognition and honor from people (Luke 11.43). The Pharisees love to sit in the important seat at the synagogue and to be greeted in the market. They sought honor and recognition from men and not from God. They suffered from the oldest sin, pride! We face this danger too. Who are seeking approval from? Do we seek the approval of other people? Do we want to be seen with important people? Or Do we seek to be humble and be satisfied with the status we have? Do we seek approval from God by living the life he calls us to live?

The third woe deals with the consequence of the first two rebukes (Luke 11.45). Pride plus Hypocrisy in a religious leader leads to them being unmarked graves! Instead of showing people how to be holy and live a life that pleases God, the Pharisees, unknown to their followers, were actually making people unclean! Are we leading people astray as we try to live a holy life? If we only get our actions right and not our heart and attitudes we are hypocrites. If we seek the approval of other people rather than living a life that pleases God our pride has gotten in the way. The result is that we make people unclean instead of helping them to be holy.

Part Two Tomorrow!
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