Religious Hypocrisy Exposed and Rebuked – Luke 11:37–54

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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
February 5, 2017

Religious Hypocrisy Exposed and Rebuked
Luke 11:37–54


Our English word, hypocrite, derives from the Greek word group uJpokrivnomai / hupokrinomai. In classical Greek this word group meant to explain or interpret and was applied to the person that would do that and specifically the actors that would interpret or explain the writings of the poets. It became used of both those who gave their rhetoric in styles of speech that conveyed the meaning beyond just the words and for those who would put on a mask and recite the poets with mime and gesture. This later became closely tied to those who would act out a part in a stage drama – an actor. The word did not originally carry any negative idea and only did so if additional words gave it a negative context. But since the craft of an actor requires him to pretend to be someone he is not, it eventually developed a negative connotation and especially in the Byzantine period following its use in Scripture and among Christians. The word group worked its way into Latin and then by the 13th Century into English.

In modern usage the word hypocrite has two related but distinct meanings. One of the definitions in the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11 ed.) is “a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings” As I pointed out in a sermon sometime ago, in this sense, all Christians are hypocrites because we both believe and strive to live up to God’s perfect standards while knowing that we will stumble and fail. Our desire is to reflect Jesus Christ in both our attitudes and actions, and to the degree that we fail to do so we are acting in contradiction to our stated beliefs and feelings. As long as the Christian remains humble when such failure occurs, this type of hypocrisy does not usually cause problems because confession is made and forgiveness is extended and all involved continue their efforts to become more like our Lord.

A person meeting the first definition of a hypocrite that remains proud quickly fits the second definition, “a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion,” or as the Oxford Dictionary states it, “the practice of claiming to have higher standards and more laudable beliefs than is the case.” In other words, the person is an actor playing a part that is not real. They are liars about themselves and their actual beliefs.

We certainly have seen much hypocrisy recently in the political demonstrations by people clamoring for love and tolerance while purposely destroying other people’s property and physically injuring them. They claim virtue they do not possess and in fact are characterized by the opposite. While that kind of hypocrisy causes lots of problems in politics and society, the worst kind is religious hypocrisy since that can have eternal consequences for both the hypocrite and those affected by him.

Over the years I have met many people that will no longer go to church or get involved if they do go because they have been hurt by the hypocrisy of those claiming to be Christians, and especially those who are supposed to be leaders. Even worse are those who turn away from Christ Himself thinking that if such hypocrites represent Jesus, then they don’t really want anything to do with Him. It is usually not so much that they blame God for such people, though some do, it is that they reason that if Jesus is not changing the character of the church leader, then He would not make any real difference in their own life.

The first step in correcting this problem of religious hypocrisy for both the hypocrites and those affected by them is to expose it. That is what we see Jesus do in our passage for study this morning. Please turn to Luke 11:37–54.

The Setting – Luke 11:37-38

“Now when He had spoken, a Pharisee asked Him to have lunch with him; and He went in, and reclined at the table.

The timing of this event is immediately after Jesus has rebuked those that made the illogical, inconsistent, insurrectionary and inane accusation that Jesus had cast out a demon and healed a mute man by the power of Beelzebub and chastened those that were demanding He perform a sign from heaven. (See: The Finger of God)  Jesus widened His warning to that generation in telling them they would only receive the sign of Jonah and that both the men of Nineveh and the Queen of the South would rise up and condemn them in the judgment because something greater than both Jonah and Solomon was present and they neither recognized it nor repented. The light of Jesus’ teaching and ministries was shining brightly for all to see, but they were blind to it. They would need to have a clear eye, a godly perspective, in order to see and perceive truth and be changed by it. Jesus’ most pointed warning was that they “watch out that the light in you is not darkness” (Luke 11:35). If you are blind or have your vision distorted but claim to be able to see clearly, then there is little hope for you. You cannot correct a problem you refuse to recognize. (See: Signs for a Wicked Generation)

It is as Jesus’ finished speaking (aorist infinitive) these warnings that a Pharisee who was present came to Jesus and invited Him to “break bread” with him – an idiom meaning to come and dine. Since Jesus was a well known itinerant teacher, it is not totally surprising that a Pharisee would invite Jesus to come share a meal even though Pharisees usually would refrain from eating with those who were not Pharisees. Other Pharisees had already done the same thing (Luke 7:36). What is surprising is that this invitation came just after Jesus had rebuked that generation and by implication their leaders. This makes it obvious that this particular Pharisee was not among those falsely accusing Jesus of casting out demons by Satan’s power nor among those demanding Jesus perform a sign from heaven. It is probably because this man was not part of either of those groups directly rebuked by Jesus that kept him from considering that Jesus general warning about being spiritually blind could apply to himself or to the other Pharisees and lawyers that were also invited to come and dine. Eating a meal together was a sign of friendship, so it is highly doubtful that those that felt the sting of Jesus’ rebuke would have then agreed to come and eat with him.

The Pharisees were fastidious in striving to keep the Mosaic Law according to the traditions developed by the Rabbis over the centuries. They were very observant of many religious rituals in their effort to be holy before God. Some Pharisees, like Nicodemus, were genuinely pious and humble, but others were very proud and arrogant believing themselves to be far superior to everyone else.

A problem quickly develops after Jesus comes in and reclines which was the normal posture for dining. Luke 11:38 records, “When the Pharisee saw it, he was surprised that He had not first ceremonially washed before the meal.” In our society, people try to wash their hands with soap and water or some sort of disinfectant lotion to reduce the risk of getting sick from any germs that are on the hands. The Pharisees only did a ceremonial washing with water as a ritual to remove defilement from being in contact with the world and make their hands holy. They would dip them (literally – baptize them) in a bowl of water. Jesus was not against washing, but He was against rituals that gave a false sense of righteousness. It appears that He purposely did not wash his hands in order to be able to point out the spiritual blindness of those present. Nothing indicates the Pharisee said anything. Perhaps he just looked surprised, but Jesus knew the man’s heart and that of the other Pharisees and exposes them.

Exposing the Pharisees – Luke 11:39-44

Throughout this section Jesus pronounces a series of “woes” upon the Pharisees and later upon the lawyers. A “woe” is an expression of intense hardship or distress. The New Bible Dictionary gives a good explanation of its usage in this passage, “When Jesus says ‘Woe unto you’, He is not so much pronouncing a final judgment as deploring their miserable condition in God’s sight of those He is addressing.” If Jesus had meant this as judgment He would have added words of condemnation such as He did when pronouncing woe upon Chorizin and Capernaum (Luke 10:13-15). This an extremely intense warning of their spiritual blindness. Jesus specifically chastens the Pharisees who were present about four areas in which the light in them was darkness. Jesus would publically rebuke the Scribes and Pharisees with nearly the same words when He returned to Jerusalem for the next Passover (Matthew 23), but this warning is given in private at the home of a Pharisee as Jesus is traveling to Galilee.

Purity – Luke 11:39-41 39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness. 40 “You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also? 41 “But give that which is within as charity, and then all things are clean for you.

This is a simple analogy that exposed the reality of the true condition of the Pharisees. A cup or serving dish that is washed on the outside can look very clean and pretty, but it is the inside that counts. If the inside is coated with filth, it will contaminate whatever is put in it leading to foul tasting food and even sickness.

The Pharisees were very good at making a show of all their righteous deeds such as calling attention to themselves when they gave alms (Matthew 6:2), praying in public (Matthew 6:5) and making sure it was easy to tell when they were fasting (Matthew 6:16). The people commonly considered the Pharisees to be the examples of righteousness and those who would certainly be accepted by God and welcomed into heaven. However, Jesus said that your righteousness must exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 5:20).

Their outward show of piety only hid the robbery and wickedness that was in their hearts. Robbery is aJrparghv / harparg which refers to a strong desire to get material things even to using violent means if needed. Both the NKJV and ESV translate this as “greed.” Wickedness is ponhrivaV / pon rias which is a general term for a perversity of mind which leads to evil actions. The wickedness in their hearts resulted in perverting the word of God to justify their actions of anger, revenge, hatred, lust, unrighteous divorce resulting in adultery and system of vows that excused their breaking their promises (Matthew 5:21-43).

Jesus calls them “foolish ones,” a]froneV / aphrones, referring to someone who is demonstrating either ignorance or being unwise by not applying what they should know. They should have been well aware that God made both the outward and inward and if they wanted to be undefiled, the inside would also have to be clean. True righteousness arises from a heart that is changed and made pure. Jesus challenges them to do that saying, “but give that which is within as charity, and then all things are clean for you.” This does not mean that by giving alms they could be purified. It is referring to giving of themselves to God first and do their acts of righteousness to please God instead of impress others. The idea that all things would be clean for them is expressed by Paul in Titus 1:15 saying, “to the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.”

Jesus exposed their blindness about what it means to be pure so that the light of God could bring about true purity in the heart. Never think that you can somehow clean yourself up to gain God’s approval. Even your best efforts at righteousness are as filthy rags before our holy Creator (Isaiah 64:6). You can only become righteous by humbly turning from your sin to put your faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ because only then are you justified, forgiven and made into a new creation.

Priorities – Luke 11:42. Jesus next shines the light of truth to expose their wrong priorities. 42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”

They majored on minors and neglected what was actually important. The Mosaic Law commanded them to pay various tithes including one from the first fruits of their harvests, but this was specifically what came from their crops such as grain, new wine, oil and their animals (Deuteronomy 14:22-23). The Pharisees carried this out to include their garden herbs of mint and rue which were not required. The Mishnah, a collection of rabbinic oral teachings that had been handed down through the generations, specifically exempted rue from the tithe (Shebiith 9:1), but the Pharisees did so anyway. Jesus is not upset in anyway that they were being so careful as to go to extremes in keeping God’s commandments about tithing and even commented they were things they should not neglect. However, Jesus uses that extreme of tithing unimportant herbs to contrast with their disregard for God’s commandments concerning justice and loving God that were very clear and much more serious.

The importance of justice goes back to God’s choosing of Abraham that he and his household after him would “keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice” (Genesis 18:19). Its importance is repeated many times in the Law. Deuteronomy 16:19–20, 19 “You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. 20 “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” Deuteronomy 27:19, “Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow.” And all the people shall say, “Amen.” The purpose of the Proverbs includes giving instruction in justice (Proverbs 1:3). In Micah 6:8 the prophet summarizes the teaching of the Law saying, “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?”

The Pharisees thought they were diligent to keep the Law, but by perverting it with their traditions they stripped justice away from certain people. An example is their practice of corban in dedicating things to the Lord while still personally using them kept them from fulfilling the requirement of justice in taking care of their parents (Mark 7:11-13). They devoured widows’ houses (Matthew 23:14) by pretending to care for them while gaining control over their fields and inheritance (Micah 2:2). Their system of taking oaths enabled them to swear a promise and easily break it (Matthew 23:16-22).

Loving God was at the heart of the Mosaic Law with the shema, Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might”) stuffed inside their phylacteries and mezuzahs. Deuteronomy repeats the command to “love the Lord your God” eight times. Joshua summarized the commands of the Mosaic Law as “to love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Joshua 22:5). He further warned the generation following him to “take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God” for there would be great blessings from God if they did and great curses from God if they did not (Joshua 23).

Jesus exposed their misplaced priorities and challenged them to set them right by seeking justice and loving God without neglecting their practices of tithing. What are the priorities in your life?

Position – Luke 11:43 Jesus also exposed their pride of position. 43 “Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the chief seats in the synagogues and the respectful greetings in the market places.”

Throughout the scriptures we find that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Proverbs 29:23 warns, “A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.” The history of Israel itself should have been warning enough for the Pharisees to be humble and refrain from exalting themselves, but instead they sought positions of honor and public attention.

The idea of chief seats in the synagogue may be foreign to most of us since there is not such a thing in a church like this where you can sit wherever you want. You might get a clue about this from attending a banquet in which there was a head table reserved for particular people related to the purpose of the banquet. In that time there was a hierarchy in seating arrangements and your placement within it was a reflection of the honor due to you. Jesus refers to this in Luke 14:8-11 when He advises that when you are invited somewhere you take a place of lower seating so that you are not embarrassed if someone of greater importance comes and you are moved from a place of honor to a lower position and can be honored if you are invited to take a seat of greater honor.

In the synagogues at that time there were chief seats reserved as places of honor and the Pharisees loved to occupy them. From the warning against partiality in James 2, perhaps seating was arranged based on your economic position. Growing up among many Jewish people I know that was true in the synagogues in our area in the 1970’s since my friends told me they had to purchase their seats for the high holidays. Your seating was according to how much you could afford. Perhaps the seating was also arranged according to position within the synagogue or responsibilities for a particular service. I know I have been asked to sit in particular places when I have been a guest speaker somewhere else. Sometimes that has even been up on the platform where everyone can see you and facing the congregation, which is something I do not like for multiple reasons. I remember one church that had three huge chairs with the middle one half again bigger than the other two. They had fancy wood carvings with red velvet upholstery. The preacher sat in the middle with his music minister on his right and the associate or a guest on the left. It looked like a king holding court. That well could be reflective of their attitude. Regardless of the particular method of assigning the chief seats, the Pharisees were proud and wanted them.

The desired greetings in the market places was similarly driven by pride. This was not just a courtesy or pleasantry as any of us would give and receive from a friend or acquaintance. This refers to something more elaborate designed to show great honor and would include gestures and titles. When Jesus rebukes the Pharisees at a later time He will include their seeking to be called “Rabbi” by others as a title of prestige.

Jesus’ warning here needs to be taken to heart in our own time as well since pride remains a problem for all people. Follow the advice of James 4:10 and “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” If you are truly seeking to live for the Lord’s glory instead of your own, that should not be a problem.

Pollution – Luke 11:44. Jesus next exposes their own pollution. 44 “Woe to you! For you are like concealed tombs, and the people who walk over them are unaware of it.”

The Mosaic Law had several commands concerning becoming ceremonially unclean and therefore unable to participate in public activities from touching a corpse (Numbers 19:11f). This was serious, so tombs were usually marked and painted white so that people would not accidently touch them and become unclean. Jesus’ statement equates them with being an unmarked grave. Their outward profession of spirituality caused others to follow them thinking they would then be walking in the ways of righteousness, but what they taught was lawlessness. Jesus said of them in Mark 7:13 that by their traditions they invalidated the word of God. Those who followed them would become polluted without even realizing it.

This problem also continues in our own time with many religious leaders claiming to show the way to God, but they are actually leading people in the opposite direction. They are the blind leading the blind and both fall into the pit. Some, like theological liberals, are like whitewashed tombs. They are dangerous, but at least detectible because of their outward denial of Scripture. Those who operate within evangelical Christianity are like concealed tombs. They are actually more dangerous because they are harder to recognize. There are many now who claim to be evangelical but who replace the authority of the Bible with either their own traditions, theologies that bend the Scriptures, or some philosophy by which they interpret the Scriptures. The outward appearance of righteousness conceals the rottenness of pride and impurity within.

Exposing the Lawyer – Luke 11:45–52

I am sure the Pharisees were surprised at this, but so was another group present that were similar to yet different than the Pharisees. 45 One of the lawyers said to Him in reply, “Teacher, when You say this, You insult us too.”

The lawyers, also referred to as scribes in verse 53, were religious men who had been formally trained in the Law. Many of them were also part of the religious sect of Pharisees and followed their traditions as well. Since Luke specifically distinguishes this man as a lawyer, he is probably not a Pharisee, but he does understand that Jesus’ criticism might apply to him and the other lawyers present, so he objects to being insulted. He probably should have stayed quite because Jesus now turns His attention to the lawyers and exposes three areas in which their light was darkness. They were hypocrites in their treatment of other people and the memory of the prophets, and they were frauds in what they taught.

Burdens – Luke 11:46. 46 But He said, “Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers.

Their interpretations of the Law laid impossible burdens on people about what was required to keep the law, yet they always found some way to get around it themselves. Sabbath restrictions come quickly to mind because they were so often a point of contention between them and Jesus.

An example of their Sabbath restrictions was the distance you could walk. You could walk around within your home as much as you wanted, but you were restricted in how far you could walk away from your home on the Sabbath. It is still that way today among the orthodox so they are careful to live within that distance to the synagogue so they can attend Sabbath services. This made life difficult for common people, but I remember reading that some lawyers came up with a way around the restriction. If they placed something from their home in a remote location their household was declared to extend to that location allowing them to walk there without restriction. All they had to do was place something to establish their household in the places they wanted to go before the Sabbath started.

This is a pointed exposure of their hypocrisy in demanding of others what they did not do themselves. People are still good at setting standards for others that they do not keep themselves. This kind of hypocrisy has often driven young people away from the church because it paints Christianity as a self-righteous fraud. Here are a couple of examples I have run into by professing Christian leaders. 1) You cannot attend a local theater to see a movie, but you could rent the movie to see in your own home or see it in a theater in another town. 2) You cannot play sports on Sunday or attend a game in person, but you can watch or listen to the game on TV or Radio and root for your team. 3) You should respect the law and be kind to others, unless of course you are driving and are late when it is okay to speed and be angry with the people who are in your way.

Prophets – Luke 11:47-51. A second area of their hypocrisy was in their treatment of the memory of the prophets. 47 “Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them. 48 “So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 “For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.’

The point of this charge is that it is much easier to honor a dead prophet than the living one that is exposing you. Building memorials to the prophets gave the appearance of honoring them and approval of their message. But it was a sham. Jesus is directly applying His warning about the men of Nineveh and the Queen of the South judging this generation to them because a prophet greater than Jonah and a teacher greater than Solomon was in front of them and they were not repenting or seeking to learn and follow His wisdom. They were just like their fathers and they would seek persecute and kill Jesus and His apostles

Jesus warning is very stern with verse 51 applying the murder of all the prophets against them. Abel is the first person murdered, and we learn here that Zechariah was the last prophet murdered by their fathers. This would be Zechariah the son of Berechiah who is the prophet of the book of Zechariah (Matthew 23:35; Zechariah 1:1).

Knowledge – Luke 11:52. Jesus also exposes the fraudulent nature of their teaching. 52 “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.”

They were supposed to be experts in the Law who should have taught the people how to understand and live according to it, but they would not do it themselves so they hid the key to knowledge and hindered others from it. Proverbs 1:7 states that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” They were fools who sought approval from one another instead of fearing the Lord and seeking His approval (John 12:43). They searched the Scriptures seeking eternal life and missed its message about Messiah who gives eternal life (John 5:39). Their teachings made the message of God’s revelation of Himself and redemption of man by faith in what God would do into mysteries that could not be understood. The message of being humble and coming to God with a circumcised heart (Deuteronomy 10:16) that will trust and love the Lord with all the heart (Deut. 6:5; Proverbs 3:5) was replaced by one of complex regulations and self-righteousness.

Beware of the same happening to you. Our society is filled with scripture twisting false teachers that would be happy to exploit you (2 Peter 2) and demonically inspired teachers that will tickle your ears to lead you astray (1 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Timothy 4:3). If you want the knowledge of God, then fear Him and become a student of His word yourself. Learn to study it and come to convictions based on what God has said instead of what man has mused.

Exposure Confirmed – Luke 11:53

Sadly, the response of the Pharisees and lawyers confirmed what Jesus had exposed. 53 When He left there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile and to question Him closely on many subjects, 54 plotting against Him to catch Him in something He might say.

If they had any interest in truth or even had some love for God, they would have responded with at least some self introspection. They would have at least considered the warnings Jesus had just made and then either tried to explain how they were different from the others justly accused, or sought to make changes as needed to ensure they no longer applied to themselves. But they did the opposite which confirmed that what Jesus said against them was true and would remain that way. They would not change. They would attack Jesus instead.

Don’t be like them. The Scriptures constantly expose our sinful desires, weaknesses and failures. Embrace the truth and take comfort in God’s mercy and grace extended to the humble even as you learn and strive to make whatever changes are needed. Rejoice that God’s love extends to you as you are today but is so great it will not let you stay that way. He will continue His work in conforming you to the image of Christ.

If you respond as the scribes and Pharisees with pride, then expect His hand of chastening if you are a Christian (Hebrews 12:4-11), and His condemnation if you are not. Either way, hope is offered to those that repent and seek His forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Sermon Notes – 2/5/2017
Religious Hypocrisy Exposed and Rebuked – Luke 11:37–54


Hypocrite: 1) “a person who acts in ___________________to his or her stated beliefs or feelings”

Hypocrite: 2) “a person who puts on a ______________appearance of virtue or religion,”

Hypocrisy in society is troublesome, _____________hypocrisy is worse because its results can be eternal

Hypocrisy in professing Christians gives an ______for some to turn away from church and others from Jesus

The first step in correcting hypocrisy is ________________it

The Setting – Luke 11:37-38

This occurs while Jesus is on His way to _________and has a conflict with people after casting out a demon

___________Jesus finishes rebuking and warning the crowd, a Pharisee invites Him to dine with him

Eating a meal with someone is a sign of ____________, so they do not think Jesus’ warnings apply to them

The Pharisees were serious about keeping the Mosaic Law according to their ______________

The Pharisee is surprised that Jesus did not ceremonially __________His hands before reclining to eat

Exposing the Pharisees – Luke 11:39-44

A “woe” is an expression of intense hardship or distress – they are in a ___________condition in God’s sight

This an extremely intense warning of their spiritual _______________- the light in them was darkness

    Purity – Luke 11:39-41 – _____________inside and outside must be clean to be pure

The Pharisees were good at making a show of their ______________righteous deeds (Matthew 6:2,5,16)

The _______show of piety hid their hearts of robbery (greed) and wickedness (perverse minds / evil actions)

They were “foolish ones” – either ignorant or _____________by not using / applying what they knew

Purity would come from giving themselves to God _____and doing their acts of righteousness to please Him

You can only become righteous by ______________repentance and faith in Jesus Christ

    Priorities – Luke 11:42 – They majored on __________and neglected what was actually important

They paid _____________tithes of garden herbs, but neglected justice and loving God which were necessary

The importance of _______is throughout the O.T.: Gen. 18:19; Deut. 16:19-20; 27:19; Prov. 1:3; Micah 6:8

The ________________of the Pharisees stripped away justice: Mark 7:11-13; Matthew 23:14-22; Micah 2:2

Loving God was at the __________________of the Mosaic Law: Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Joshua 22:5

    Position – Luke 11:43 – instead of being humble, they sought positions of ___________& public attention

Chief seats in the synagogues were places of ________________

They wanted to be greeted in public in ways that demonstrated that they were _____________

____________has always been a problem for people – follow the advice of James 4:10

    Pollution – Luke 11:44 – touching a corpse would make a person ceremonially _________- Numbers 19:11f

Their false ________________made them unmarked graves that would make a person unclean unknowingly

____________of false teachers who twist God’s word with their own traditions, theologies and philosophies

Exposing the Lawyers – Luke 11:45–52

Lawyers (scribes) were formally ______in the Mosaic Law – many were also part of the sect of the Pharisees

A lawyer (not a Pharisee) objects to Jesus’ criticisms of the Pharisees recognizing it ___________to him too

    Burdens – Luke 11:46 – their interpretations of the Law laid ________________burdens on the people

An example is their Sabbath restrictions on ______________- which they found ways to circumvent

Beware of those who set “high standards” that they do not actually ______________themselves

    Prophets – Luke 11:47-51 – It is easier to honor a __________prophet than a living one

Jesus applies His earlier warning to them – they would soon _____________and seek to kill Jesus

    Knowledge – Luke 11:52 –

These “experts” in the Law made it more ____________to understand and follow

They changed God’s message of ____& trust in Him into one of complex regulations and self-righteousness

Beware of false teachers who will ______you and demonically inspired ear ticklers who will lead you astray

Gain knowledge of God through His _____________

Exposure Confirmed – Luke 11:53

It they had __________interest in truth or love for God they would have taken to heart Jesus’ warnings

They did the ___________confirming Jesus’ accusations were true and they would not change

Embrace Scripture’s ___________of your sin so that you will gain God’s forgiveness and draw close to Him

The ___________can expect either God’s chastening (Christians) or condemnation (non-Christians)

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times the word “Pharisee” is used. 2) Discuss with your parents what you should do when your sins are exposed.


Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Define the word “hypocrite.” What examples of religious hypocrisy have you seen? What have been its effects on others? What is the setting of Luke 11:37–54? Why is the Pharisee surprised that Jesus did not wash His hands? What is Jesus’ point in verses 39-41? How were the Pharisees full of robbery and wickedness? Why did Jesus say they were foolish? How could they be pure? How can you be pure? Why did they tithe garden herbs? What is the importance of justice and loving God? How did they neglect both of those? Why did they want the chief seats in the synagogue? What kind of public greeting did they want? Why? What was the danger of an unmarked tomb? How were the Pharisees like that? How would they pollute others? How do false teachers pollute their followers? What is the difference between a lawyer and a Pharisee? Why was the lawyer insulted? How did the lawyers put burdens on the people? How did they avoid those burdens for themselves? How do religious leaders do the same thing today? Why would they build tombs for the prophets? How were they like their father’s that killed the prophets? How did the lawyers take away knowledge from the people? How do modern false teachers take away the message of the Bible from people? What was the reaction of the Pharisees and lawyers? What does that confirm?

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