Confrontation with the Pharisees: First Cycle
- Accusation that Jesus Worked by Beelzebub (11:14-28)
- The Desire of “This Generation” for a Sign (11:29-36)
- Six Woes to the Pharisees and Doctors of the Law (11:37-52)
- Setting: Eating with Unwashed Hands, the Lord’s Response (vv.37-41)
- 1st Woe: Over-Emphasizing Tithing, Under-Emphasizing Morality (vv.42)
- 2nd Woe: Giving Themselves the Highest Public Place (vv.43)
- 3rd Woe: Rottenness and Defilement Hidden from the Eyes of Men (vv.44)
- 4th Woe: Demanding of Others, Yet Unwilling to Work (vv.45-46)
- 5th Woe: Murderers Pretending to Honor the Prophets (vv.47-51)
- 6th Woe: Making the Knowledge of God into a Restrictive Religion (vv.52)
- Conclusion: The Pharisees’ Resolve to Catch Him in His Words (vv.53-54)
Accusation that Jesus Worked by Beelzebub (11:14-28)
Accusation that the Source of the Lord’s Power was Beelzebub (vv.14-16)
14 And he was casting out a demon, and it was dumb; and it came to pass, the demon being gone out, the dumb man spoke. And the crowds wondered. 15 But some from among them said, By Beelzebub the prince of the demons casts he out demons. 16 And others tempting him sought from him a sign out of heaven.
A House Divided, A Kingdom Divided Cannot Stand (vv.17-18)
17 But “he”, knowing their thoughts, said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation: and a house set against a house falls; 18 and if also Satan is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom subsist? because ye say that I cast out demons by Beelzebub.
A Strong Man Bound (vv.19-23)
19 But if “I” by Beelzebub cast out demons, your sons — by whom do they cast them out? For this reason “they” shall be your judges. 20 But if by the finger of God I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God is come upon you. 21 When the strong man armed keeps his own house, his goods are in peace; 22 but when the stronger than he coming upon him overcomes him, he takes away his panoply in which he trusted, and he will divide the spoil he has taken from him. 23 He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathers not with me scatters.
When the Unclean Spirit Has Gone Out of a Man (vv.24-26)
24 When the unclean spirit has gone out of the man, he goes through dry places seeking rest; and not finding any he says, I will return to my house whence I came out. 25 And having come, he finds it swept and adorned. 26 Then he goes and takes seven other spirits worse than himself, and entering in, they dwell there; and the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first.
A Woman’s Blessing on the Lord, the Lord’s Blessing on Obedience (vv.27-28)
27 And it came to pass as he spake these things, a certain woman, lifting up her voice out of the crowd, said to him, Blessed is the womb that has borne thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But “he” said, Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.
The Desire of “This Generation” for a Sign (11:29-36)
The Sign of Jonah (vv.29-32)
29 But as the crowds thronged together, he began to say, This generation is a wicked generation: it seeks a sign, and a sign shall not be given to it but the sign of Jonas. 30 For as Jonas was a sign to the Ninevites, thus shall also the Son of man be to this generation. vv.29-30 Only a wicked generation would ask for a sign with no intention of receiving it. The Son came to save, and not to judge; but He would not pander to the whims of that generation. And yet, He would give them a sign to look for – the Sign of the Prophet Jonah – which was a sign of God’s judgment on Israel. Due to Israel’s obstinance, God has put them in the place of death, and meanwhile turned toward the Gentiles. The was the only sign left to give “this generation”.
31 A queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, more than Solomon is here. 32 Men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and behold, more than Jonas is here.
The Lamp of the Body (vv.33-36)
33 But no one having lit a lamp sets it in secret, nor under the corn-measure, but on the lamp-stand, that they who enter in may see the light. 34 The lamp of the body is thine eye: when thine eye is simple, thy whole body also is light; but when it is wicked, thy body also is dark. 35 See therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. 36 If therefore thy whole body is light, not having any part dark, it shall be all light as when the lamp lights thee with its brightness.
Six Woes to the Pharisees and Doctors of the Law (11:37-52)
Setting: Eating with Unwashed Hands, the Lord’s Response (vv.37-41)
37 But as he spoke, a certain Pharisee asked him that he would dine with him; and entering in he placed himself at table. 38 But the Pharisee seeing it wondered that he had not first washed before dinner. 39 But the Lord said to him, Now do ye Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but your inward parts are full of plunder and wickedness. 40 Fools, has not he who has made the outside made the inside also? 41 But rather give alms of what ye have, and behold, all things are clean to you.
1st Woe: Over-Emphasizing Tithing, Under-Emphasizing Morality (vv.42)
42 But woe unto you, Pharisees, for ye pay tithes of mint and rue and every herb, and pass by the judgment and the love of God: these ye ought to have done, and not have left those aside.
2nd Woe: Giving Themselves the Highest Public Place (vv.43)
43 Woe unto you, Pharisees, for ye love the first seat in the synagogues and salutations in the market-places.
3rd Woe: Rottenness and Defilement Hidden from the Eyes of Men (vv.44)
44 Woe unto you, for ye are as the sepulchres which appear not, and the men walking over them do not know it.
4th Woe: Demanding of Others, Yet Unwilling to Work (vv.45-46)
45 And one of the doctors of the law answering says to him, Teacher, in saying these things thou insultest us also. 46 And he said, To you also woe, doctors of the law, for ye lay upon men burdens heavy to bear, and yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.
5th Woe: Murderers Pretending to Honor the Prophets (vv.47-51)
47 Woe unto you, for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, but your fathers killed them. 48 Ye bear witness then, and consent to the works of your fathers; for “they” killed them, and “ye” build their sepulchres. 49 For this reason also the wisdom of God has said, I will send to them prophets and apostles, and of these shall they kill and drive out by persecution, 50 that the blood of all the prophets which has been poured out from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias, who perished between the altar and the house; yea, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.
6th Woe: Making the Knowledge of God into a Restrictive Religion (vv.52)
52 Woe unto you, the doctors of the law, for ye have taken away the key of knowledge; yourselves have not entered in, and those who were entering in ye have hindered.
Conclusion: The Pharisees’ Resolve to Catch Him in His Words (vv.53-54)
53 And as he said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him urgently, and to make him speak of many things; 54 watching him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.