“…a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him.”
– Luke 11:37
God is the only one who knows the intentions of someone’s heart. We misjudge all the time. Even Samuel, a man of God who heard His voice at a young age and faithfully served the Lord all his life, misjudged the next king of Israel. He thought it was supposed to be David’s older brother Eliab. God warned Samuel by saying, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
We do not know the reasons this Pharisee asked Jesus to dinner. It could have been that he wanted to be associated with someone famous, which would be in-line with the desire to sit at the best seats in the synagogue. Jesus was celebrated with the people, and it is possible he wanted his ministry to be seen in the same light. He may have wanted to capitalize on Jesus’ popularity. It is likely, also, that he may have wanted to invite Jesus to his home to catch him doing something incorrectly to bring accusations against the Lord. Whatever the reason, Jesus accepted the invitation. The Pharisee did not know what He was in for.
This religious leader did bring an accusation against Christ. Brilliantly though, the Lord used it as an opportunity to expose this man’s own sins. Before he brought a charge against Jesus, he should have ensured the “plank” was removed from his own eye first!
The Pharisees “excelled in what could be seen by others but were careless by only what God could see.” They cared only about the external. Jesus cared for the internal heart. He reminds me of a surgeon who genuinely cares for His patients. Just like with aggressive disease, Jesus had to be very graphic with His patients so they would see the seriousness of the condition of sin. The Pharisee’s sin was exposed not because Jesus wanted to judge him, but because Jesus loved him! Be encouraged when your sin is being revealed to you, it just means God loves you and is paying particular attention to you! Do not be foolish, listen!
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.”
– Proverbs 12:15