And as he spoke, a certain Pharisee sought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.…
I. THE INVITATION.
1. The prominence with which the Pharisees figure in our Lord's life is noticeable.
(1) In view of their profession of preeminent piety.
(2) In view of their scrupulous conformity to all the outward forms of religion.
(3) In view of their bitter emnity against Jesus, and their craft and various forms of cunning used to ensnare Him.
(4) What a commentary on the powerlessness as well as hollowness of attention on the mere formalities of religion.
II. OUR LORD'S ACCEPTANCE OF THE INVITATION.
1. Our Lord accepted the invitation with full knowledge of the insincerity with which it was offered.
(1) But He knew it would give Him the opportunity of giving utterance to truths which the occasion would naturally call forth.
(2) May we appreciate the value of opportunity.
2. Our Lord accepted the invitation with full knowledge of the painful consequence that would follow His honest utterances on the occasion. We must not shrink on account of consequences to speak the truth which God gives.
III. THE SURPRISE OF THE PHARISEE.
1. This surprise was natural from the Pharisee's standpoint.
2. And this ceremonial washing had a high moral design.
(1) To remind constantly of the need of inward purity.
(2) But its spiritual significance was lost sight of in the mere rite itself.
3. Our Lord's omission to wash before the meal was premeditated.
(1) That He did nothing that was not premeditated, shows this.
(2) The moral lessons He drew which the occasion furnished Him, prove this.
(3) In our Lord's life the lower was ever sacrificed for the higher.
IV. THE PRACTICAL LESSONS WHICH OUR LORD DREW.
1. From the folly and wickedness of having a form of godliness while denying its power.
2. A lesson on true cleanliness.
V. THE FEARFUL JUDGMENTS PRONOUNCED ON RELIGIOUS FORMALISTS.
1. Upon the formalists who made great pretensions to piety — the Pharisees.
2. Upon the formalists who made great pretensions to Scriptural knowledge — scribes.
3. Upon the formalists who made great pretensions to exact analysis of the law — lawyers.Lessons:
1. In social life our Lord gives an example of impartiality in His attention and interest: publicans, sinners, Pharisees — invitations from all alike He accepted.
2. In social life our Lord gives us an example of turning every incident to practical and spiritual account.
3. In social life our Lord gives us an example of inflexible righteousness, conjoined with loving sympathy.
(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.