The condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees continues. In today’s reading Jesus says they focus on the smallest acts of tithing while over looking what is really most important: loving and treating other people right. They cleanse the outside but are evil on the inside. They claim to honor the prophets, but in reality they disobey their teachings.
Jesus describes justice, mercy, and faith as “weightier matters of the law”. What does He mean “weightier matters” and what type of things fall into the weightier matters category?
Jesus’ criticism of the scribes and pharisees continues. The charges he brings against them are quite severe including things like hindering people from entering the kingdom and taking advantage of widows (an especially heinous crime in our day as well). Verses 16-22 sound like a system of oaths they had devised that they taught relieved them from obligation to be true to their word (kind of like crossing your finger behind your back). The teaching here may help us understand a difficult passage from earlier in Matthew 5:33-37.
Using this condemnation of the Pharisees as a negative example, what kind of positive behavior would you say God is expecting of each of us?
The next few days we will be in Matthew 23 and 24 in which which Jesus speaks concerning the sins of the scribes and pharisees and the coming destruction of their nation and city.
Interestingly He begins by says the people should respect their authority – do what they say but do not do as they do.
Specifically in today’s reading he addresses their oppressive attitudes, unwillingness to help others, and their desire to be recognized by men.
Instead of desiring the recognition of men we should desire to be __________? (v11)
Instead of elevating men we should remember that we are all ___________ ? (v8)
Today we read five verses which are Jesus’ response to the criticisms of the Pharisees. He touches on the hypocrisies of the Pharisees and the temporary nature of the Law.
The section closes with a statement about God’s will concerning divorce. The connection to the context here is difficult to determine but this topic will be dealt with more thoroughly in a few days.
What would be one example of something “highly esteemed among men” but an abomination in the sight of God? (Verse 16).
Today’s Text: Luke 11:45-54
Yesterday we read about Jesus pronouncing “woes” on the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. In today’s reading we see the experts in the law were also offended by Jesus’ words. In His response Jesus condemns them as well.
The conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees is very intense. In fact, in this reading Jesus predicts a coming judgment on this generation.
Read how Jesus condemns the lawyers in 46 and 52. They personally rejected God but what did they do that is even worse?
Today’s Text: Luke 11:37-44
Jesus accepts a Pharisee’s dinner invitation and then is criticized for not washing properly before dinner. Over the next two days we will read His response in which He pronounces “woes” on the Pharisees for their hypocritical ways. They were all about outward cleansing, meticulous tithing, and getting recognition from men and they neglected inner purity, justice, and the love of God.
In the middle of these criticisms what does Jesus tell them to do? (41) Why do you think He gave this commandment in this context?
Today’s Text: Matthew 16:1-12
First the Pharisees and Sadducees come to Jesus testing Him, asking for a sign. He rebukes them sharply for not discerning the signs of the times and because of their evil hearts.
Next Jesus rebukes His own disciples their lack of perception. He warns them about the “leaven (doctrine) of the Pharisees” but they think he is talking about physical bread.
What are the “times” that Jesus says the Pharisees should have understood? What time was it for the nation of Israel?
Today’s Text: Mark 7:1-13
Pharisees from Jerusalem come to check out Jesus and find fault with Him and His disciples because they do not live according to the traditions of the elders. Jesus tells them they honor God with their lips, but their heart is far from God. Jews in the past had done the same and He quotes Isaiah who said the same thing in his day. He then shows how some of their traditions actually disregard God’s law.
Question: Are commandments and traditions of men necessarily wrong? (For example, was there anything wrong with washing cups and pitchers and vessels? If not, when do they become wrong?
Today’s Reading: Luke 6:6-11
The controversy between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisee’s continues. Jesus heals a man with a withered hand. Because of the timing and way Jesus performed the miracle they become “filled with rage” and discuss how they might destroy Him.
Were all Pharisees like these?
Which hand of the man was withered and healed by Jesus?
What work did Jesus actually do in this miracle?
Today’s reading: Matthew 12:1-8.
Its a sabbath day and Jesus and His disciples are passing through grainfields. The disciples are hungry so they pluck heads of grain, rub them in their hands (Luke 6:1), and eat.
Once again the Pharisee’s criticize: “Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath”.
Analyze Jesus’ response – how does He reason with them? Note that Mark gives an additional thought (Mark 2:27).
After hearing Jesus response what could these Pharisees possible say?