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Avoiding Unmarked Graves

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Jesus unmasks the nature of religious hypocrisy and the devastating impact it can have on the spiritually unaware.

Text: Luke 11:37-44
Date: 09/10/2023, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 120

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After a deep Theological discussion of spiritual Light and darkness, Jesus turns His attention to the ultimate example of spiritual depravity-- the religious hypocrite. Focusing on the Pharisees of His day, He methodically begins to unmask the wretched state of the inner darkness of their souls and contrast it sharply with their outward pretension of religious piety. We will pay careful attention to each of Jesus' examples of their deceptive nature, including the first three of six "woes" directed specifically at the Pharisees. Ultimately we will identify important principles from the text that will help us unmask religious hypocrisy in all ages, and thereby (to use one of Jesus' woes) avoid the unmarked graves!

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I. Introduction, Luke 11:35.
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 11:37-44.
A. Context, Luke 11:24-26.
B. Unmasking the marks of religious hypocrisy.
1. Setting the scene, vs. 37.
a. Noticing the flow of thought, Luke 11:14,17,27,29.
b. The invitation.
i. The nature of the host.
ii. The nature of the invitation, Luke 11:53-54.
2. Misplaced trust, vs. 38.
a. A recurring problem, Matt. 15:2,3,6-9.
b. A ceremonial cleansing.
c. Absurd legalism.
3. The depraved inner man, vs. 39-41.
a. Filth on the inside, vs. 39.
i. Initial observations.
ii. The analogy.
iii. Some strong words.
1) Wickedness
2) Greed
b. Clean the inside where it matters, vs. 40.
i. The harsh address, Matt. 5:2, Psa. 14:1, Isa. 50:11.
ii. Putting hypocrisy in perspective, Matt. 23:26, Psa. 139:7-8.
c. Motives matter, vs. 41.
i. Finding the right interpretation, 2Cor. 9:7.
ii. The "flip side" of the principle.
4. Three woes, vs. 42-44.
a. The meaning of "woe", Luke 6:24-26, 10:13.
b. Majoring in minors, vs. 42.
i. The issue of tithing, Lev. 27:30, Deut. 14:22, Mal. 3:8.
ii. What was wrong with their actions.
1) Justice, Mic. 6:8, Lev. 19:18.
2) The love of God, John 5:42, 1John 4:8, Luke 10:27, John 8:42.
c. Loving the wrong things, vs. 43, John 5:44.
i. Loving the best seats in the synagogues.
ii. Loving elaborate greetings in the Market Place
iii. Delving into the real issue.
d. Defiling the innocent, vs. 44.
i. Comparing to Matthew's version, Matt. 23:27-28.
ii. Fleshing out the image, Num. 19:16.
iii. The deception of hypocrisy.
1) The lamp that emits defilement, Luke 11:34.
2) Purveyors of darkness, Matt. 15:14, 23:15, 18:6, Gal. 1:8.
III. Application
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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