37 While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. 38 The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. 39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you. 42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honor in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it.” 45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too.” 46 And he said, “Woe also to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to ease them. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. 48 So you are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50 so that this generation may be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation. 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” 53 When he went outside, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile toward him and to cross-examine him about many things, 54 lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
This passage really stuck me as I read it this time! Here we have Jesus going and spending time with the Pharisees. He is invited, so He goes to dinner. In the course of the conversation He doesn’t hold back His opinion— but He isn’t pointing his finger at them from a distance and whispering loud enough for them to hear but keeping Himself apart. He engages with them – He confronts them, He holds them accountable for what they have done. By doing so – He is also giving them the opportunity to humble themselves and repent.
We are so blessed to have the Holy Spirit who is revealing our sin to us – not to rub it in our faces – He reveals it – so that we can humble ourselves and repent. We know that many of the Pharisees wanted to get rid of Jesus – but I wonder how many were convicted of their sin and were prepared to humble themselves and repent? The truth spoken in love is powerful.
Holy Spirit – help me come in humility and repentance when You show me my sin. You come to me directly – so I may know forgiveness and walk in freedom. Fill me with power to choose to obey you every time.
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn