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Gene’s Daily Scriptural Postings

Reflective Bible Study.

Incriminating Yourself: Luke 11:37-54

Focus Passage: Luke 11:37-54 (NIrV)

During one of the meals Jesus was invited to with some Pharisees, Luke tells us that the host is surprised (and maybe even a little offended) when Jesus doesn’t ceremonially wash before the meal. In response Jesus challenges several issues that God had with how the Pharisees were living their lives and acting towards others.

However, at this meal were more than just Pharisees. Luke describes another group who were offended with Jesus’ words. “An authority on the law spoke to Jesus. He said, ‘Teacher, when you say things like that, you say bad things about us too.’” (v. 45)

Whether the authority on the law (i.e. a lawyer) expected Jesus to shift His attention onto his group or not, it seems as though this statement extends the invitation to challenge this other group of people present at this meal.

However, while Jesus has a challenge for this group, it is interesting in my mind that simply by speaking up, we see a subtle thing happening in what Jesus was doing. In Jesus’ challenges to the Pharisees, He was convicting those present of the sin in their lives, and He was challenging them all to live to a much higher standard than they were living at that time.

While the challenging statements Jesus made may have sounded mean, they are meant to redirect those present towards God’s ideal rather than simply being insults that have no redeemable characteristics.

In Jesus’ challenge, He opened the door for the Holy Spirit to convict those present of the sin in their lives, and when the lawyer speaks up about how Jesus’ remarks also sound relevant to him, this shows that the Holy Spirit was convicting him of sins that he was holding onto in his heart.

After this meal, Luke tells us that the Pharisees and lawyers set out to trick, trap, and oppose Jesus. Maybe Jesus came on too strong with His words, or maybe the Holy Spirit’s conviction hardened the hearts of these leaders and closed their minds off to the truth about who Jesus came to be.

Reading this event helps remind me that when the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, we can either choose to reject what the Holy Spirit is showing us (which is what these religious leaders did), or we can choose to reject the sin by repenting and move closer to Jesus. Jesus had intended to help these leaders grow towards God’s ideal, but they instead decided to keep their sin and reject God’s Messiah.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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