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Cannot fool God!
I wonder how your religion teachers would have got on if they had been invited to this meal along with Jesus? Here is what happen when a Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him.
The Pharisee got his first surprise when Jesus took his place at the table without carrying out the religious hand-washing ceremony of the Pharisees. "You Pharisees," Jesus said, "clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?"
Jesus saw much further than their hands and arms, He saw into their minds and hearts and told them of their wickedness.
God is NOT impressed with the outward show of religious practices when the person continues unclean in his or her heart and life.
Maybe already this Pharisee was wishing he hadn't invited Jesus to eat with him!
Jesus then spoke about the great show they made of their tithes and offerings for God, and of the great respect these things earned them from the people. But He told them why they had been unable to earn any respect from God. "You neglect justice and the love of God,"
Have you noticed the same today with many religious people. They make a great show of their fasting and their praying, yet they often "neglect justice and the love of God." They continue to be dishonest, vulgar, selfish, unreliable. They may even take the Lord's name in vain, or insult God in other ways such as by praying to statues!
Just to be trying to appear clean and religious on the outside while continuing to be revolting to God in your heart and life is worse than useless! "Woe to you" Jesus said - "Woe to you".
Jesus had more to say to those religious hypocrites
that were around Him at this meal. They were claiming to know and to show the way to God. "Woe to you experts in the law because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering," Jesus said.9*.
It is Jesus who is "the Way the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Him!"
But they refused Jesus and His teaching.
The scribes and the Pharisees were not going to give up their fame and power. They realised if Jesus was allowed to go on saying these things about them the people would maybe turn against them and turn to Him! So, they began to be very hostile toward Jesus and were trying find excuse to condemn Him in something He might say.
Do YOU feel insulted by the teachings of Jesus? Have you been content to put your trust in the words and actions of religious leaders instead of in Jesus Christ, God's Son? Will you go on trying to look good on the outside and trying to hide the sort of person you really are? You might fool you friends and your religious leaders, but you cannot fool God!
Heed Jesus warnings found in Luke chapter 11, verses 37-54. Turn from your sin and put your whole trust in Jesus to forgive and save you, now!
To read more of Luke's account of the life of Jesus turn to the Gospel of Luke in the Holy Bible.
Bye for now,
John Nixon, Ballincollig, Co.Cork, Ireland.
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Bible quotations from N.I.V.
1 Luke 11:37. 2 Luke 11:39-40. 3 See 1st Samuel 16:7. 4 Isaiah 1:11-16. 5 Luke 11:42. See Romans 3:20. 6 See Exodus 20:3-7. 7 Luke 11:42-44. 8 Matthew 23:23-29. 9 Luke 11:52. 10 John 14:6. Hebrews 7:24-27.