Friday, December 7, 2012

Hindering Others from Entering.

Luke 11:45-54 (ESV)
One of the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also." [46] 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. [47] Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. [48] So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. [49] Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,' [50] so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, [51] 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. [52] 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."
[53] 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, [54] lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.

“You insult us also.” And Jesus turns with, I just got started. If ever there was a time for a lawyer to shut up, this was it. but the lawyer spoke up, as if insulting rather than being insulted was the sin here. No, sometimes, the insult is merely someone exposing your sin, it isn’t rude, it is what needs to be done. The proper response isn’t to act insulted but repent. As the saying goes, when the shoe fits, wear it.
The lawyers, not only did they take away the key of knowledge, not only did they not enter themselves, they hindered others from entering. There is a special hell for that. They were entrusted with speaking God’s word, with learning it, and teaching it. For all outward appearances they took this seriously, but not as far as God was concerned. For instead of teaching about the love and grace of God, they spoke law. They taught the law in such a way as even they themselves could not manage, and they just left the people there. Perhaps the picture is the Baptist pastor ranting and raving about tobacco and liquor, and you run into him at the liquor store. I saw one write this stuff in the newspaper, and he had not the balls to condemn me when he saw me do it, because he knew he was wrong. Church of Christ, Baptist, same damned difference, and I do mean damned. Or perhaps the Mormon bishop you catch grabbing a cup of coffee before getting on the plane. They preach what they themselves would not dare to take up themselves. They presume to teach the law when they have no understanding. Oh, the law has to be preached, but not at the expense of the gospel. They do not enter themselves, and they hinder others from entering. They deny themselves the grace of God, and then they deny it to others. If we live, it is by faith in the forgiveness of sins, by Christ and him crucified, or it is not at all.

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