The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 46

The Ministry Continues ~ Part 10

We continue our study of The Ministry Continues, beginning in Luke 11:44.

Lawyers Condemned

Recall how we ended up in our last post with Yeshua’s first set of Woes: Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.  ~ Luke 11:44. We pick up the second set of Woes. The second set of Woes (vv. 46–52) is directed at lawyers (experts in the law, another expression for scribes of the P’rushim (see Mark 2:16; Luke 11:53; and Mattityahu 23:2).

45 One of the experts in Torah answered Him,“Rabbi, by saying these things, you are insulting us also.” 46 Yeshua said, “Woe to you Torah experts too! You load people down with burdens they can hardly bear, and you won’t lift a finger to help them!

The first Woe involves the lawyers load people down with burdens by interpreting the Torah, considering their extra-biblical traditions, and making it hard to bear. Worse still, they won’t lift a finger to help them! i.e., they make no effort to help people keep these laws.

47 “Woe to you! You build tombs in memory of the prophets, but your fathers murdered them! 48 Thus, you testify that you completely approve of what your fathers did – they did the killing, you do the building! 49 Therefore the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and emissaries; they will kill some and persecute others’; 50 so that on this generation will fall the responsibility for all the prophets’ blood that has been shed since the world was established, 51 from the blood of Hevel to the blood of Z’kharyah, who was killed between the altar and the Holy Place. Yes, I tell you, the responsibility for it will fall on this generation!

The second Woe involves the lawyers’ hypocrisy in building monuments to the prophets. However, their fathers murdered those same prophets, and they continue to kill and persecute them (v. 49). The unusual expression Wisdom of God probably means “God in His wisdom” or “God, speaking to express His wisdom.From the blood of Hevel (Abel in Genesis 4) to the blood of Z’kharyah (2 Chron. 24:20–22), i.e., from the beginning of the first book to the end of the last book in the Hebrew Bible.[1]

52 “Woe to you Torah experts! For you have taken away the key of knowledge! Not only did you yourselves not go in, you also have stopped those who were trying to enter! 53 As Yeshua left that place, the Torah-teachers and the P’rushim began to oppose Him bitterly and to provoke Him to express His views on all sorts of subjects, 54 laying traps to catch Him in something He might say. ~ Luke 11:45-54

The last Woe condemns the Torah experts (lawyers) for their interpretations of Scripture that deprive the people of the key of knowledge needed to understand God’s plan of salvation. Not only do they refuse to enter into God’s plan and be saved, but their distorted interpretations keep others from truly knowing God. The Torah experts and the P’rushim began to oppose him bitterly and to provoke him to express his views on all sorts of subjects describes a continual attempt to ambush Yeshua as they tried to lay traps to catch him in something he might say.

In our next post, we will pick back up in Luke 12:1. We will continue in Luke until we finish the topic of The Ministry Continues.

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[1] The Hebrew Scriptures place 1 & 2 Chronicles at the end of their canon.

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