Luke 11:37-42

Luke 11:37 (KJB)
And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.

We are not told who this Pharisee was but while Jesus was giving His discourse, he asked Him if He would be willing to dine with him. What we can know about this Pharisee is that he was a strict legalist and had almost zero tolerance for any understanding of Godís will but his own or that of the tradition of the elders.

Luke 11:38 (KJB)
And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.

The Pharisee had come to a point of wondering that why Jesus did not ceremonially wash Himself before He started to eat dinner. It is sure that the hands of Jesus were clean but what is in view here is the ceremonial washing from the tradition of the elders.

Luke 11:39 (KJB)
And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.

The title of hypocrite fits them because their outward appearance and behavior did not match their inward character. It was like a person who washed only the outside of a cup but allowed the inside of the cup to remain dirty. The inside of the cup would have residue from each use and eventually it would be so disgusting, one would not be able to use the cup. Jesus was attacking their tradition of washing of the pots and cups. (Mark 7:4 KJV) And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables. Just like an extremely dirty cup, the Pharisees were filed with extortion and excess. The extortion is what was gained unlawfully by the Pharisees and through extortion. The excess was ďlack of self-control or indulgence.Ē It could refer to anything like food, material goods, or the lust for them. The Pharisees were so concerned with the outward rituals that they had totally forgotten that the real uncleanness lied inside them.

Luke 11:40 (KJB)
Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?

Jesus had taken this situation very seriously because He called them fools. He knew very well that they were just making their outward appearances look very holy but their insides were filled with evil. What they were also doing was trying to establish the will of God for everybody else according to their tradition. The will of God is different for everyone and therefore it cannot be brought under some system like the tradition of the elders which are not even from the law.

Luke 11:41 (KJB)
But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.

Jesus tells them that instead of them trying to fix the will of God on everyone, they need to give alms, which can be kind acts, and they should give them according to a personís need. Each personís need will be different and that is why one blanket system will not work just as the physical needs of people differ. Then when the Pharisees give these alms, they will be giving it with a clean heart without ulterior motives. Then they would be real in their dealings with the people.

Luke 11:42 (KJB)
But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Under the law tithes were to be paid on the produce of the land and also on livestock. (Lev 27:30 KJV) And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD. The Pharisees had widened the list of things which were to be tithed on so they included mint, rue, anise, and cummin. Anise was an herb which has the taste of licorice. Cummin is a dried seed in the parsley family. Mint was a spearmint flavor. Rue is an evergreen, aromatic plant used in medicines and condiments.  It was much easier to tithe a few seeds than to become heavily involved with the weightier matters of the law. Judgment may have been justice administered according to the law of God. Mercy is related to all acts of compassion and faith would not only be a faithfulness in applying oneís duties in the law but would also have to be faith toward God. They left the weightier matters undone because they had focused on the tithing of the herbs. Jesus is telling them that they are to do both if they feel they have to tithe the herbs. One should not be sacrificed in lieu of the other. The faithfulness needs to be the carrying out of the law of God before any of the created embellishments.

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