Read Luke 11:33-54.
OBSERVATION: Read verses 33-36. (The Greek words for ‘healthy eyes’ mean ‘bountiful’ or ‘generous.’ The words for ‘unhealthy eyes’ mean hurtful.)
- How is a lamp compared to a person?
- According to these verses, what is the purpose of light?
INTERPRETATION: Consider the use of lamps in the time of Jesus.
- How would they be used?
- When would they be most effective?
- What impact does this have on your understanding of these words?
- What produces light in you? What produces darkness?
- How does the light and darkness that is within you affect your life, your relationships, your community?
OBSERVATION: Read verses 36-54. This story gives a real life portrayal of the meaning of Jesus’ words of verses 33-36. As you read, consider the following:
- What surprises Jesus’ host?
- Why does Jesus’ behave this way?
- What is Jesus’ point in telling the story about the dishes?
- List the “woes” that Jesus names.
- Note: verse 44 refers to unmarked graves. Coming into contact with the dead made one unclean and outside of the community. The implication is that the teachings of the Pharisees defiled the people without their knowing it.
- Note: verses 47-51 refers to the prophets. The prophets were chosen by God to represent God to his people. How the prophets were treated was the same as if God was being treated the same way.
INTERPRETATION: Imagine the scene – A Pharisee invites Jesus to dine. He accepts the invitation and comes to the table without washing, something that to a Pharisee, who is particularly concerned with cleanliness, is unheard of. Read through the passage with this scene in mind, as if you are a participant in the meal. Journal your thoughts.
APPLICATION: Return to the list of woes.
- For each woe, name an equivalent ‘woe’ in today’s world.
- To what might Jesus’ words point in the 21st century?
- How does this speak to the light and darkness you identified in the first part of this study?
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.