Teacher, you insult us!
Scripture reading for April 6th: Luke 11:37-12:7
“”Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.” “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which men walk over without knowing it.” One of the experts in the Law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.” ” (Luke 11:43-45)
“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.” (Luke 11:46)
You would think that a great teacher would seek not to insult his students! Jesus was charged with insulting those He sought to help! What would motivate Jesus to take this approach? Was this something sinful in the sinless Son of God? Shouldn’t someone who is said to walk in the love of God be more tactful and tender? Isn’t it wrong to insult our religious leaders? As we read this account of Jesus confronting the religious authorities, these are some of the questions that come to mind as we ponder Jesus’ approach to the religious leaders.
First of all, Jesus was and is the greatest teacher who ever lived or will live! He has never sinned and did not sin in His approach to reaching and correcting these religious leaders. He was simply speaking the truth to help expose their hypocrisy. Jesus had been invited to the home of a Pharisee for dinner. They were judging Him as unclean because He failed to wash His hands before the meal. Jesus, knowing their hypocrisy of breaking God’s laws yet trying to keep their own, spoke these woes to help wake them up. He sought to help them deal with the “log in their eye” as a first priority.
God disciplines and corrects those He loves. Without it we are illegitimate children. (Hebrews 12:5-6, Proverbs 3:11-12) God gives a life-giving rebuke to those who will be corrected. (Proverbs 15:31-32) Those whose hearts are proud and hard will refuse correction and suffer for it. These Pharisees and teachers of the Law hardened their hearts and plotted how they might kill Jesus. In doing so, they fulfilled the plan of God for their own redemption, but also possibly brought about their own destruction. Are you offended by the Word of Jesus? Do you consider correction from His Word an insult?