But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal. Luke 11:38
Read: Luke 11:37-54
Listen: Luke 11
A Pharisee invites Jesus over for a meal. Jesus surprises everyone by not washing his hands. The Pharisee isn’t worried about germs; he’s concerned about ceremonial cleanliness. He’s astonished that Jesus, a religious teacher, isn’t. Pharisees were all about religious ritual and took it very seriously. They were trying to live what they thought was the right way. They were serious about the scriptures. They prayed regularly. They were upset with the direction of their culture. But they missed the most significant thing. Jesus, God-in-flesh, was right there and they missed him.
Not only did they miss him, but they were causing others to miss him as well. Jesus’ response at this meal is different than some of the other meals we have looked at in this series. Instead of a table of grace, this is a table of correction. The Pharisees missed Jesus because they were so focused on religious ritual.
It can be easy to look at the Pharisees and wonder how they could miss it. Jesus is healing people. He’s feeding people. His teaching is mind-blowing. But the Pharisees easily did. Instead of thinking how ridiculous this is—we should see this as a warning. In our culture, Christians are at risk of being like the Pharisees. We likely make many of the same mistakes. As we look at this meal this week, we need to see ourselves in the Pharisees and open to Jesus correcting us.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Recognize in what ways you are like the Pharisees. Ask God to work this week to help you see where you are missing it and where you need to take the mask off and let him in. Ask him to show you what you need to do to grow.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.