HOST: Ron House
One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.” And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
In yesterday’s reading, Jesus condemns the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. In these verses, the lawyers come to the defense of their friends and cohorts and in so doing, bring Jesus’ harsh condemnations upon them too. The “lawyers” were often Pharisees themselves and are also often the same ones referred to as “scribes.” They were experts in the Law of Moses and were the self-appointed interpreters, teachers, and judges of the law and of the people. They knew the Old Testament Scriptures better than anyone else, so it was especially cutting for Jesus to accuse them of taking away the key of knowledge. They had manipulated and, in some cases, hidden completely God’s law from the people. In so doing, they had hindered them from a proper understanding. It occurs to me that far too many in our world today are guilty of the same wrongdoing. They ignore, hide, alter, or manipulate God’s Word in order to be accepted, successful, or justified. The result is that those who look to them for guidance and teaching are led astray and hindered from a proper understanding of God’s Word. May God help us to be a people of His Word and to seek constantly to know and embrace its truths.
How can we avoid being led astray by one not teaching the truth?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!