Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XLIII: Christianity's Validity Seen In Christ's Clear, Righteous Opposition To Errant Leaders
(Luke 11:37-54)
  1. Introduction
    1. According to Romans 12:18, as much as is possible, Christians are to live at peace with all men.
    2. However, as righteousness and sin cannot mix, there are times when peace with others is not an option.
    3. Jesus examples for us when it is unacceptable for leaders to live peaceably with others as follows:
  2. Christianity's Validity Seen In Christ's Clear, Righteous Opposition To Errant Religious Leaders.
    1. Luke's gospel was written to provide evidences of the credibility of the Christian faith, Luke 1:3-4.
    2. Well, if the Christian faith is truly of God as to origin, and if God is infinitely righteous, we should expect there to be a huge contrast between Christ the King and those leaders promoting a false, errant religiosity.
    3. When errant religious leaders opposed Jesus, the Messiah, He responded with a clear stand opposite them:
      1. When Jesus accepted a dinner invitation from a Pharisee, he initiated a scene by intentionally not observing the unbiblical Pharisee ritual of washing his hands before the meal, Lk. 11:37-38.
      2. When this Pharisee marveled that Jesus had the nerve not to wash his hands in agreement with the extrabiblical Pharisee regulations, Jesus began a series of open criticisms of Pharisee errors, 11:39-44:
        1. Jesus, Israel's Messiah complained to the objecting, errant religious Pharisee that his leadership colleagues with him were hypocritically righteous on the outside while being evil within, 11:39-40.
        2. Specifically, Jesus noted how the Pharisees meticulously tithed tiny seeds of their crops while omitting to observe basic, important things like God's love and justice, Luke 11:41-42.
        3. Specifically, Jesus noted how the Pharisees were sinfully proud and greedy for the praise of men, so that as men came in contact with them, they were polluted by reactionary anger and sins of competition with them, Luke 11:43-44.
      3. This criticism hit close to the experts of the law, the scribal lawyers, so they complained to Jesus that His criticizing these Pharisees also critiqued these men. The lawyer implied that Jesus was supposed to back down from His criticism as it was close to making the respected lawyers look bad, Luke 11:45.
      4. Well, instead of backing down, Jesus took up some scathing criticisms of these experts in the law:
        1. Jesus complained that these scribes created legalistic rules for other that put them under enormous burdens, and then lovelessly refused to help them know how to keep these regulations, Lk. 11:46.
        2. He complained that the lawyers hypocritically claimed to have supported the Old Testament prophets opposite those in Israel who persecuted them while they hypocritically persecuted and opposed the Messiah, Jesus, Luke 11:47-48.
        3. Jesus revealed how God had sent Jesus along with the same spiritual agenda of the persecuted Old Testament prophets so that the mistreatment of Jesus by these lawyers would condemn them along with all t he other ancient persecutors of the Old Testament prophets. This would put them in line for judgment just like the past persecutors of the prophets had been judged, Luke 11:49-51.
        4. Jesus summed up the greatest sin of these men: their rejection of Christ caused others in the nation to be misled into rejecting the truth to their harm, Luke 11:52.
      5. Christ's criticisms of these leaders so infuriated them that they vehemently urged Jesus to keep talking, for they hoped He might this way slip up, making an unbiblical statement. Then they could bring charges that would stick against Him so as to stop Him from His ministry, Luke 11:53-54.
Lesson: Since Jesus was the Messiah, and hence rightful leader of Israel, and since He was also God, the perfectly RIGHTEOUS King of Israel, He openly came into critical conflict with Israel's false, errant leaders. As such, Christ gave evidence t hat He was the rightful and upright King of Israel to the validity of the Christian faith.

Application: Truly UPRIGHT spiritual leaders appointed by God should be EXPECTED to do what Jesus did when in contact with errant leaders: they SHOULD openly OPPOSE them and their beliefs. (1) Thus, EXPECT good leaders to get into conflict with th e errant. (2) If we are in a position of leadership, we should be worth our SALT and take STANDS for what is RIGHT opposite the errant!