March 24, 2019

A Brunch of Woes, part 2

Passage: Luke 11:37-54

Last time, we started looking at this passage which describes a brunch that Jesus attended at a Pharisee’s house. In Jesus’ time, there were strict traditions that dictated how a person should behave himself at a dinner party. Jesus violated many of these rules; he didn’t seem to care about how people expected him to act. He began by refusing to wash his hands before the meal, and then he proceeded to offend just about everybody attending the brunch. The six woes that Jesus expresses here serve to antagonize the leaders of the Jews against him. And by the end of the meal, the host and his guests are exceedingly angry with Jesus.

Conflict seemed to follow Jesus almost wherever he went. Much of this conflict arises because Jesus says things that the religious leaders find offensive. His teaching on who God is and what it means to follow him is distinctly different from the model that the religious leaders of the Jews were teaching.

Jesus expressed six woes against the Pharisees, scribes, and lawyers. Each of these reflects serious spiritual problems or failures common among the guests at that brunch.

Problem #1 was hypocrisy. The Pharisees looked good on the outside, but inside, they were full of greed and wickedness. The solution to hypocrisy is to be consistent inside and outside. Get the inside right and the outside will be right. Love God with your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your behavior won’t be a problem.

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