By Aren Haggard
In Luke Chapter 11, Jesus is invited to eat dinner with a Pharisee and some of His friends. As Jesus sat down to eat, the Pharisee marveled that Jesus didn’t wash His hands first. To many in Jesus’ day, including this Pharisee, this was a matter of cleanness, though there truly was no precedence under the Law of Moses for such a requirement.
What ensues is quite the lambasting from Jesus towards this Pharisee and his friends, and a great lesson about who we never want to become as followers of God.
In verses 39-41, Jesus tells the Pharisees they’re like dishes that are clean on the outside and dirty on the inside. Don’t be a dirty bowl. Be honest about what’s filling your heart and mind and make sure those things are clean too!
In verse 42 we find that the Pharisees would tithe even the smallest of herbs but had completely lost sight of things like love and justice. Don’t be a micromanager! Certainly be concerned about following God to the utmost of your ability, and always seek the truth, but remember that the love and concern we should have for others can’t be replaced by attention to detail in other doctrinal matters.
In verse 43 Jesus calls out the scribes and the Pharisees for being attention hogs and thinking that they deserved the best of everything from everyone. Don’t be a prima donna! If anyone had the right to demand the very best it was Jesus, but instead He chose to be a servant and seek the best for others.
In verses 46-52 Jesus turns to the lawyers, those experts of the law of God, and reprimands them for making the law impossible to follow, and laying unbearable burdens upon the people. Don’t be an albatross! As Christians we should strive to take the load off of those around us, help them through life and bring them closer to God.
Jesus was hard and straight-forward with the Pharisee and his friends, but only because their souls and the souls of the people they taught and influenced hung in the balance. Jesus told it like it was because one day He will tell it like it is. Either He will say “Depart from Me I never knew you” or “Well done good and faithful servant”.