This is the Lent 2015 series. We’re reading through Luke, from Jesus conquering temptation in the desert to the Passion, His crucifixion and resurrection.
Woe on the Pharisees and Experts on the Law (Luke 11:37-54)
Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. (Luke 11:46)
Matthew Henry writes about this verse, “You will not burden yourselves with them, nor be yourselves bound by those restraints with which you hamper others.” They would seem, by the hedges they pretended to make about the law, to be very strict for the observance of the law; but, if you could see their practices, you would find that they not only make nothing of those hedges themselves, but make nothing of the law itself neither.”
“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” (Luke 11:52)
Jesus is truth, and in this verse He tells us to seek knowledge, to empower others, and to encourage others toward Him.
When Jesus went outside, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, waiting to catch him in something he might say. (Luke 11:53-54)
The Pharisees were waiting, watching Jesus, hoping to trip Him up and pounce. The Pharisees embodied Psalm 56:5 “All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin.” Jesus sets the example for us by how He endured trials. Through tribulation, the hand of God leads.
That we may bear trials of this kind with patience, and get through them with prudence, let us consider him who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself. (Matthew Henry)
Luke 11 wraps up with Jesus teaching us that we should be generous, humble, help others, encourage others, and seek knowledge. We should be lifting others up and encouraging them toward Jesus, not using power and position to cause mischief, scheme, or heap burdens on one another.
Tomorrow we’ll start Luke 12 and read about Jesus’ warnings and encouragement, how to steer clear of worry, and how to focus on peace.
No more chains, I’ve been set free
No more fighting battles You’ve won for me
Now in Christ, I stand complete. -Lyrics from All You’ve Ever Wanted, by Casting Crowns