TEXT: LUKE 11:37-54.
🔑KEY VERSE “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them” (LUKE 11:44).
To be hypocritical is to claim to be a child of God when you know full well that your life does not measure up to His holy standard. It is also to demand from others a level of integrity that is absent from your life.
Hypocrisy misrepresents God and therefore seeks to make Him a liar before men.
It was unusual for Jesus to go to a man’s house to condemn him. But this was what He did when invited for dinner by “a certain Pharisee.” His host condemned Him first for not washing His hands and feet which they deemed to have been contaminated by the Lord’s interaction with people they considered unclean. But in this, He saw an opportunity to speak truth to His host and the gathering of Scribes, Pharisees and lawyers that were present for the dinner. He chided them for their unwillingness to help the poor while insisting on the payment of tithe. He rebuked them for making high demands from the ordinary people, while excusing themselves from such rigour. He accused them of making other people unclean through their sullied spiritual lives. He condemned them not just for persecuting prophets of God but rejecting God Himself. He chided them for erroneously interpreting the Scriptures and therefore, misleading and preventing people from coming to Christ. But rather than being contrite and sober, they sought for ways to trap Him into making blasphemous statements.
Unlike the Pharisees and Scribes, believers must not hold others to the injunctions of Scriptures while disobeying those same provisions. The best way to influence people positively is to let our lives express what God expects from them.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: If your life were a book, what will others read from it?
BIBLE IN A YEAR: 1 CORINTHIANS 1-4.
Heavenly verdicts that should not be ignored
- A true soul winner must learn to be sociable without being sinful v37, Hebrews 7:26.
- He is a fool who puts his priority on outward beauty and give less attention to inward purity vv39,40.
- Giving of alms to the needy is part of neglected christian righteousness v41.
4 Things that attracts woe as against blessings.
a. External righteousness without inward grace of love for God, neighbour and truth v42. Partial obedience is sinful.
b. Love of self exaltation, self praise, public praise and approval v43.
c. A life of spiritual rottenness, pretence and deceits v44.
d. Preaching the word without living out the preaching v46.
e. Teaching and acting out what can derail someone from God and heaven v52.
Reflect on each above and come to the cross in repentance so as to avoid the sentence of “woe”. Jesus is not a respecter of any.
Ask God to purge you from all forms of hypocrisy
Consecrate and promise God that you will follow the way of the cross with emphasis on humility and inward holiness
Ask God to purge you from the love of self exaltation and praise of men
Pray that each member will abhor hypocrisy and concentrate on true inward purity
HYMN The way of the cross leads home
1 I must needs go home by the way of the cross,
There’s no other way but this;
I shall ne’er get sight of the gates of light,
If the way of the cross I miss.
The way of the cross leads home, (leads home,)
The way of the cross leads home; (leads home;)
It is sweet to know as I onward go,
The way of cross leads home.
2 I must needs go on in the blood sprinkled way,
The path that the Savior trod,
If I ever climb to the heights sublime,
Where the soul is at home with God. [Chorus]
3 Then I bid farewell to the way of the world,
To walk in it nevermore;
For the Lord says, “Come,” and I seek my home
Where He waits at the open door. [Chorus]