Have you “lost that lovin’ feelin’?”
A. The difference between a Pharisee and a lawyer:
But both Pharisees and lawyers abused their authority, taking and twisting God’s truth for their own ends.
37 While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. 38 The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. 39 And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you. 42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”
B. Woes to the Pharisees (37- 44): Four hypocritical, self- righteousness behaviors
1. Keeping up appearances (37- 41)
In Jesus’ eyes, who we are matters much more that what we do.
2. Keeping all the wrong rules (42)
They lost the joy of giving to God and loving their neighbors. They got so caught up in keeping the letter of the law that they missed the spirit of the law altogether.
3. Keeping up the praise game (43)
Because the focus is not on God, or even the people we might be serving, but on us.
This praise game is dangerous, because we can’t seek our glory and God’s glory at the same time.
4. Keeping corruption spic and span (44)
Trying to keep up appearances, keep the wrong rules, and seeking praise will lead to our deaths, and will lead others
down the same path.
45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.” 46 And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. 48 So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” 53 As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, 54 lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
C. Woes to the Lawyers (45-54)
1. For not practicing what they preach (46)
The gospel reminds us that Jesus paid our debt, so we are free to follow Him with all that we are.
2. For piling on the sins of their fathers (47-51)
The best way to honor Jesus and the other prophets that came before Him is to live the way He taught us to live.
3. For locking the door to the Kingdom with legalism (52- 54)
The key of knowledge is Jesus Himself.
D. So what about us?
1. Have you lost that lovin’ feelin’?
2. Where does Jesus cry “woe” over you?
3. Come be cleaned and find rest. From the inside out.