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The Pharisees

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A Sermon on Luke 16:14-15

The Law and the Kingdom of God

The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. (ESV)

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Why was Jesus opposed to the Pharisees? In the gospels, no one is condemned more by the Lord Jesus than the religious leaders of the day, the Pharisees. Throughout the gospels, they oppose Jesus and seek to trap Him in His words. In this sermon on Luke 16:14–15 titled “The Pharisees,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that eventually the Pharisees—with the help of the Romans—crucify Him. Jesus condemned them because they claimed to follow the law of Moses and the prophets, yet they were religious hypocrites who loved public praise and recognition. Jesus condemned them because they claimed to be experts in the law and not only added their own traditions to the law of Moses, but they opposed Jesus, who is the fulfillment of the law. They pretended to be holy and righteous, yet they were dead on the inside. Dr. Lloyd-Jones proclaims that there are many today in the church just like the Pharisees. They are self-righteous hypocrites who love to be thought of as holy but do not believe in the gospel, and they trust in their own works for salvation. This false righteousness that is only concerned with looking good is condemned by Jesus because the true righteousness of the kingdom of God comes not by anything one does. It comes by Christ Jesus who is the righteousness for all who believe.

Additional Scripture Translations

Luke 16:14-15, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

14Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were ridiculing Him. 15And He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the sight of people, but God knows your hearts; because that which is highly esteemed among people is detestable in the sight of God.

Luke 16:14-15, King James Version (KJV)

14And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. 15And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.