37 說話的時候，有一個法利賽人請耶穌同他吃飯，耶穌就進去坐席。 38 這法利賽人看見耶穌飯前不洗手便詫異。 39 主對他說：如今你們法利賽人洗淨杯盤的外面，你們裡面卻滿了勒索和邪惡。 40 無知的人哪，造外面的，不也造裡面嗎？ 41 只要把裡面的施捨給人，凡物於你們就都潔淨了。 42 你們法利賽人有禍了！因為你們將薄荷、芸香並各樣菜蔬獻上十分之一，那公義和愛 神的事反倒不行了。這原是你們當行的；那也是不可不行的。 43 你們法利賽人有禍了！因為你們喜愛會堂裡的首位，又喜愛人在街市上問你們的安。 44 你們有禍了！因為你們如同不顯露的墳墓，走在上面的人並不知道。 45 律法師中有一個回答耶穌說：夫子！你這樣說也把我們糟蹋了。 46 耶穌說：你們律法師也有禍了！因為你們把難擔的擔子放在人身上，自己一個指頭卻不肯動。 47 你們有禍了！因為你們修造先知的墳墓，那先知正是你們的祖宗所殺的。 48 可見你們祖宗所作的事，你們又證明又喜歡；因為他們殺了先知，你們修造先知的墳墓。 49 所以， 神用智慧（用智慧：或作的智者）曾說：我要差遣先知和使徒到他們那裡去，有的他們要殺害，有的他們要逼迫， 50 使創世以來所流眾先知血的罪都要問在這世代的人身上， 51 就是從亞伯的血起，直到被殺在壇和殿中間撒迦利亞的血為止。我實在告訴你們，這都要問在這世代的人身上。 52 你們律法師有禍了！因為你們把知識的鑰匙奪了去，自己不進去，正要進去的人你們也阻擋他們。
39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. 42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. 43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces. 44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.” 45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.” 46 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. 47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. 48 So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all. 52 “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.”
- When eating at the home of a Pharisee, Jesus identified six common sins of the “religious” of his day that kept them from seeing the light. The Pharisees and experts in the law were furious and attacked Jesus. Reading these verses should not cause us to criticize the Pharisee then. Rather, they should draw us to examine ourselves.
- With a humble heart, go through the following questions and ask: “God, do I……?”
Do I spend more time trying to look holy, or seeking to be holy? (vv39-41)
Do my priorities reflect God’s? (v42)
Do I treasure the approval of others, or the approval of God? (vv43-44)
Do I make living a Christian life harder for people by my expectations, or do I encourage and help them? (v46)
Do I resist God’s word brought by his ministers, or am I open and teachable? (vv47-51)
Do I distort the gospel by a legalistic attitude and approach to Christian faith? (v52)
The disciples of Jesus had been impressed with the prayers of John the Baptist and of Jesus. They asked Jesus to teach them to pray as John had taught his disciples. Jesus gave them this prayer. Look at the parts of the prayer. Join hands and pray this prayer together.