Print this Page

Is this repeated in Jersey today?

While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to breakfast with him, so he came and descended among them. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he was not first bathed before breakfast. And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside you are full of greed and evil. Foolish! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give away your lawfully existing things as mercy-gifts, and, look and see, everything of you is clean. But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect the judgment and the love-in-action of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.” Luke 11: 37-44
What do you think? The above incident is taken from the biography of Jesus Christ written by Luke, a physician, around AD 62. It records an event which took place around AD 30. There are only two people involved – Jesus Christ and a Pharisee. The question is: are there parallel situations in Jersey today?

What do you think?

First of all, one should notice the way in which Luke – a highly trained and accurate user of the Greek language of the day – describes Jesus. He writes that Jesus came and descended among them.  Is Luke hinting at Jesus’ divine origin – Son of God – and at his love-in-action in being made man – Son of Man? Jesus submits totally to the decisions of the powerful men around him. He suffers the death of the cross.

Second, one should notice that the un-named Pharisee – a member of that political and religious elite group – is concerned to maintain and make known the very high reputation in which he is held by all. Position is important. To be as clean as a whistle is important. Reputation, what is perceived by others, is of utmost importance. One must be righteous and seen to be righteous. One must be a person who does everything required by law or by morality.


‘Frankly, I would much rather have no religion at all than to have just enough to deceive me.’ (A W Tozer, American pastor, 1897-1963)
What do you think? The first and second points fit together. To be seen to be highly respectable does one, as a minimum, have to engage in religious duties, go to church?

Third, one must cringe at what Jesus said to the Pharisee (and no doubt other members of that group) at the meal. Looking no doubt as the lovely clean cups and plates, he points out that the Pharisees, as a group, are clean only on the outside. Inside they are full of two particular things: greed; and evil.

Fourth, Jesus says something which seems to have been an acid test for the Pharisees who were there. Having pronounced on the foolishness of cleaning only thee outside of a cup or dish, he asks them whether the maker of the cup and dish wanted those to be clean inside and out. What then would the maker of the men-folk there have wanted of them – clean outside only, or clean inside and out?

So that the breakfasters can take this to heart, Jesus tells them to take hold of the good things under their authority and give them away as mercy-gifts to the needy. If they did that – then they would have succeeded in cleaning their insides from greed and evil.

 What do you think? Do the third and fourth noticeable points correctly describe folk in Jersey today? Are the folk you meet day-by day and week-by-week clean inside? How do they fare in the test as to whether they are dominated by greed and evil? Will they give away to the needy all their lawfully-existing accumulations?

There is a fifth thing that one should notice in this AD 30 incident. It has to do with tithing – the giving of 10% (usually) of income to God. Not only did the Pharisees do this but also they tithed the things they grew in their gardens and used in their cooking. They were determined to do the right thing. Jesus said that this shouldn’t be neglected.

But what vastly more important things had they neglected? What had they not done? “You neglect the judgment and the love-in-action of God.”Are folk in Jersey doing the same thing?


‘In God’s ultimate judgment he gives sinners over to their sins.’ (R C Sproul, author and pastor)
What do you think? What do these words of Jesus actually mean? What is “the judgment”? Is it the judgment of God? What is “the love-in-action of God”? Presumably these two go together and one triumphs over the other?

What do you think?
Richard Syvret

Email this newsletter to a friend
*All mandatory fields must be filled in

Friend`s name
Friend`s email address *
Your name
Your email address *

Send comment
*All mandatory fields must be filled in

Your name *
Your email address *
Your comment *