Luke 11 v 39. “Then the Lord said to him, “ Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness”.
A very sad scene unfolds in these verses. Here were people devoted to the observance of the Old Testament laws, which should have developed their sense of right and wrong. One would also have thought that the Old Testament law would have sharpened their conscience so that they would recognise the great moral and supernatural power of Jesus and His power to grant salvation.
But instead their inner eyes were evil (11 v 34), clouded with greed and pride. Thus any light from the Old Testament had been distorted.
Notice that neither the Pharisees nor the teachers of the law ever set out deliberately to be perverse or wicked. Yet that is what they had become. Sin creeps up upon us little by little. So, little by little, religious pride and a feeling of superior knowledge had taken over their moral sense. When they met Jesus and heard his teachings they should have repented, but instead their pride made them become his most bitter enemies. Furthermore they became his relentless opponents and persecutors – read v 54 to catch a glimpse of their inner feelings toward Jesus.
This should be a great warning to all of us. It is a lesson on how, under the very guise of religion, we can slip further and further away from God and his Gospel and without even intending to, we can become actual opponents to Christ.
May God guard our hearts.