Devotion for May 26, 2024

“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” (Luke 11:52)

It’s not a popular thing, is it, to deliver the bad news? Of course, that’s an oversimplification. We might discuss law and gospel; one cannot receive the gospel without first hearing the law. The law is the diagnosis of our sin, of our state. The gospel is the amazing news of what Jesus’ death on the cross means for us.

We can’t celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus without knowing why we need it. We cannot live in our baptism daily if we don’t know what that means or why we need to.

In a passage like this, we hear Jesus’ law for the experts in the law. We must also hear this law for ourselves. What can we pick out? (Read the passage if you haven’t yet. I’ll wait …)

In the text, we find:

  • Don’t neglect justice and the love of God.
  • Don’t seek out the most important seats for yourselves.
  • Don’t load people down with burdens and refuse to help them.
  • Don’t keep knowledge for yourselves and the key to that knowledge from others.

How might that look for us? Love others, and love justice. Share the burdens of others and help them understand the gospel message — most importantly — by living it out. Stay humble and teachable.

What we know of the Pharisees is that they were experts in all of this knowledge of the law — but it was more important to them than people. Our knowledge must never be exclusive or more important than loving people and living the gospel. This does not mean sugar-coating God’s truth to make it acceptable to others. It means being prepared to use the law to diagnose the issues and share the gospel message of love and salvation through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice.


Lord, help me to use the law as a mirror to remind me of my sins, live your gospel message and love others in response to the freedom and forgiveness I have through Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice on the cross. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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