Jesus Confronts Hypocrisy

International Sunday School September 3 2023 Fall #1


  • Preacher Homiletical — The washing was a ceremonial act, and cleanliness was not the object of it. The ablutions, which had become most elaborate and frivolous, were not based even upon Levitical law, but upon Pharisaic tradition and the so-called Oral law.
  • Pulpit — An elaborate system of utter meaningless ablutions, each carried out with particular gestures, had been instituted by the rabbinical schools. All these senseless forms and ceremonies had been developed out of the original simple directions to secure cleanliness in the Levitical Law. It is probable that our Lord, intending to bring about this discussion. 

Wash Before Dinner

Luke 11:37-38 (ESV) While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. [38] The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner.

  • Mark 7:2-4 (ESV) they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. [3] (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, [4] and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.)

Clean the Outside

Luke 11:39-40 (ESV) And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. [40] You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?

  • Psalms 33:13-15 (ESV) The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; [14] from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, [15] he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.

What is Within

Luke 11:41 (ESV) But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.

  • Proverbs 19:17 (ESV) Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.
  • James 1:27 (ESV) Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Woe to You

Luke 11:42-44 (ESV) “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. [43] Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. [44] Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”

  • James 2:2-4 (ESV) For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, [3] and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” [4] have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?


  • Don’t major in the minor
  • Show your love by helping
  • Resist pride in your life


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