What Jesus Did! 'Recognize How Bad it Is!' — Luke 11:44

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"It will be bad for you, because you are like hidden graves. People walk on them without knowing it."
— Luke 11:44
Illustration of Luke 11:44 — "It will be bad for you, because you are like hidden graves. People walk on them without knowing it."

Key Thought

All of us have a tendency to look at our sins and shortcomings and dismiss them as less sinful than other people's sin. Jesus is confronting the Pharisees about their sin. The Pharisees were generally considered to be some of the most righteous living people in Jesus' day. Yet Jesus calls on them (see the previous verses in Luke 11) to look past their outward demonstrations of righteousness and look at their hearts—deal with their inner greed, the outward show of generosity coupled with their lack of passion for social justice, and their desire to be treated with special honor and appreciation. Jesus wants them to know that their sin is just as bad as those to whom they feel righteously superior. If we are willing, we will also hear him knock on the door of our hearts and challenge us to not settle for outward righteous appearances, but to pursue the things that are genuinely righteous from the heart that matter most to God.

Today's Prayer

Help me, O God my Abba Father, to pursue what is to your glory and honor. Forgive me for my sins. Help me to understand the guilt of those sins as I confess them. Help me to understand that you have forgiven me of those sins and cleansed me of their guilt. However, help me to honestly see my sins as you have and be as repulsed by them as I am the sins of others. Don't let the shame from my sins destroy me, but use my awareness of my sins and my appreciation of your grace to motivate me away from sin in the future. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

After Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee asked Jesus to eat with him. So Jesus came and took a place at the table. But the Pharisee was surprised when he saw that Jesus did not wash his hands first before the meal. The Lord (Jesus) said to him, "You Pharisees {think that washing the outside of the body is so important. That's like} cleaning only the outside of a cup or a dish! {The inside is more important.} And what is inside you? You want only to cheat and hurt people. You are foolish! The same One (God) that made what is outside also made what is inside. So pay attention to what is inside. Give to the people that need help. Then you will be fully clean. But it will be bad for you Pharisees! You give God one-tenth of {everything you own}—even your mint, your rue, and every other little plant in your garden. But you forget to be fair to other people and to love God. These are the things you should do. And you should also continue to do those other things—{like giving one-tenth}. It will be bad for you Pharisees because you love to get the most important seats in the synagogues. And you love for people to show respect to you in the market places. It will be bad for you, because you are like hidden graves. People walk on them without knowing it."

Luke 11:37-44

Related Scripture Readings

It is the evil things a person wants that tempt that person. His own evil desire leads him away and holds him. This desire causes sin. Then the sin grows and brings death. My dear brothers and sisters, don't be fooled about this.

James 1:14-16

We heard the true teaching from God. Now we tell it to you: God is light (goodness). In God there is no darkness (sin). So if we say that we have fellowship with God, but we continue living in darkness (sin), then we are liars—we don't follow the truth. God is in the light (goodness). We should live in the light, too. If we live in the light, then we share fellowship with each other. And when we live in the light, the blood (death) of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. (Jesus is God's Son.) If we say that we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess (admit) our sins, then God will forgive our sins. We can trust God to do this. God does what is right. God will make us clean from all the wrong things we have done. If we say that we have not sinned, then we are saying that God is a liar—we don't accept God's true teaching. My dear children, I write this letter to you so that you will not sin. But if any person sins, we have Jesus Christ to help us. He is the righteous (good) One. Jesus defends us before God the Father. Jesus is the way our sins are taken away. And Jesus is the way that all people can have their sins taken away, too.

1 John 1:5-2:2

"Why do you notice the small piece of dust that is in your brother's eye, but you don't see the big piece of wood that is in your own eye? You say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take that little piece of dust out of your eye.' Why do you say this? You can't see that big piece of wood in your own eye! You are a hypocrite. First, take the piece of wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your brother's eye.

Luke 6:41-42

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.