It’s been a strange week for me. I’ve really fought hard, wrestling with the verses we’ll be covering this Sunday. I find it so important not to take the easy route of pointing fingers everywhere else when dealing with the subject of empty religion or legalism. I honestly believe these are constant struggles that all of us, no matter how nobly we begin our journey, have to guard against. I have a wealth of old anecdotes about how legalism oppressed me or twisted my thinking…yet the real challenge is to not live in the past, but have an eye on the present. How do these issues effect Eastgate, or myself personally? That’s where things get dicey…I’m more than happy to offend myself, but I hate the thought of offending someone else. Unlike Jesus,who, in our text, let loose with a full on Ultimate Fighting Cage Match against religious stupidity with no apparent hang-ups about making Pharisees cry .
We’re going to be reading Luke 11:44-54 this Sunday, finally finishing up the chapter. I probably could have broken this section into two parts as well…but I don’t want to belabor the point.
This section tells us that lawyers not get in on the discussion, which is never a good thing.
Actually though, the “lawyers” in this section are not lawyers like the one’s on Law and Order…it’s another term for Scribes. They were experts on the Law of Moses, as well as the Talmud. They learn right away it is not wise to pick a religious fight with Jesus.
Four more woes are leveled at legalistic religion. If you were to summarize each woe, what would you say the warnings are? v47-51 create a serious accusation against …saying that experts on religion as an end in itself are guilty of innocent blood all the way back to Abel.
Whoa, that’s a pretty serious woe. But what do you think it means? Why Abel?
What ways can you think of that will guard our hearts against legalism and empty religion? How do you keep the main thing the main thing?
Stuff to gnaw on ’till Sunday.