Luke 11:45
Then answered one of the lawyers, and said to him, Master, thus saying you reproach us also.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(45) Then answered one of the lawyers.—See Note on Matthew 22:35 for the term “lawyer.” We note here the sense at once of distinctness and of class fellowship. Though something more than a scribe, he feels that he stands or falls with them.

Luke 11:45. Then answered one of the lawyers, &c. — A doctor, or interpreter of the law. The Jewish lawyers (as our translation not very properly terms them) were the most considerable species of scribes, who applied themselves peculiarly to study and explain the law. Probably many of them were Pharisees, but it was no ways essential to their office that they should be so. What touched the person here speaking was, that our Lord, in his last wo, Luke 11:44, had joined the scribes with the Pharisees. Master, thus saying, thou reproachest us — The rebuke which thou hast given the scribes and Pharisees in so general a way, affects us lawyers also. And he said, Wo unto you also, ye lawyers — The lawyers, even of the Pharisean denomination, had done unspeakable mischief by their erroneous interpretation of Scripture, which they perverted to favour the tradition of the elders as much as possible, and so bound heavy burdens on men’s shoulders, which they themselves would not touch with one of their fingers. Jesus, therefore, spake his mind freely concerning them also, laid open their character, and denounced further woes against them. Wo unto you, for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets — He blames them for building the sepulchres of the prophets, because they did it from no regard to the murdered prophets, though in words they pretended to venerate their memory, but in order to make an ostentation of their piety. Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers — By all your conduct you show that inwardly, in your minds, you approve of the deeds of your fathers, who persecuted the prophets; for they killed them, and ye build their sepulchres — You are men of precisely the same character and disposition with them; hypocrites, who covered the grossest acts of wickedness with the specious appearance of piety. For like them you pretend great reverence for the ancient prophets, while ye destroy those whom God sends to yourselves. Ye therefore bear witness, by this deep hypocrisy, that you are of the very same spirit with them. Or, more at large, thus: “From your known disposition, as well as from your open practice, which is to trample upon the laws of God, as often as they stand in the way of your wicked purposes, and particularly from your persecuting the messengers of God, one is obliged to think that you build the sepulchres of the prophets whom your fathers killed, not from any pious regard for God, whose messengers they were, nor to do honour to the prophets themselves, but to do honour to their murderers, as approving of their deeds, and intending to perpetuate the memory of them to posterity with applause. The great men among the Jews always possessed the true spirit of politicians. In the time of the prophets they made no scruple to kill persons, whom they knew to be the messengers of God, because, forsooth, the good of the state required it. In our Saviour’s time, Caiaphas, the high- priest, openly avowed this principle in a full meeting of the grandees. For when some were opposing the resolution of the major part of the council, who had determined to kill Jesus, and urged the unlawfulness of the action, he told them plainly that they were a parcel of ignorant bigots, who knew nothing at all either of the principles or ends of government, which render it necessary oft-times to sacrifice the most innocent for the safety of the community. Therefore also said the wisdom of God — Agreeably to this the wisdom of God hath said, in many places of Scripture, though not in these very words, I will send them prophets, &c. — Because you imitate the ways of your fathers, by persecuting the messengers of God; because you carry your wickedness to as great a pitch as your fathers did; for these reasons God hath declared his last resolutions concerning you: he hath said, I will send them prophets and apostles, yea, and my beloved Son, notwithstanding I know they will persecute and slay them: That the blood of all the prophets, &c. — That by this last and greatest act of rebellion, the iniquity of the nation being completed, God may at length testify how much he was displeased with this people from the beginning, for persecuting and murdering his prophets, and that by sending upon the generation which completed the iniquity of the nation, such signal judgments as should evidently appear to be the punishment of that great and accumulated wickedness, committed by them in their several successive generations. Verily I say, It shall be required of this generation — And so it was within forty years, in a most astonishing manner, by the dreadful destruction of the temple, the city, and the nation. The justice of such a procedure every thinking person will acknowledge, who considers that sins committed by men, as constituting a body politic, can only be punished in the present life; the proper punishment of national sins being national judgments, even such judgments as dissolve the transgressing state. And these the providence of God thinks necessary for its own vindication, always inflicting them upon nations, when the measure fixed upon by God for punishment is filled up, that the wrath of God being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, the nations of the world may be awed and kept in subjection to the government of God. See on Matthew 23:29-33.11:37-54 We should all look to our hearts, that they may be cleansed and new-created; and while we attend to the great things of the law and of the gospel, we must not neglect the smallest matter God has appointed. When any wait to catch something out of our mouths, that they may insnare us, O Lord, give us thy prudence and thy patience, and disappoint their evil purposes. Furnish us with such meekness and patience that we may glory in reproaches, for Christ's sake, and that thy Holy Spirit may rest upon us.Lawyers - Men learned in the law; but it is not known in what way the lawyers differed from the "scribes," or whether they were Pharisees or Sadducees.

Thus saying, thou ... - He felt that the remarks of Jesus about loving the chief seats, etc., applied to them as well as to the Pharisees. His conscience told him that if "they" were to blame, "he" was also, and he therefore applied the discourse to himself.

Reproachest - Accusest. Dost calumniate or blame us, for we do the same things. Sinners often consider "faithfulness" as "reproach" - they know not how to separate them. Jesus did "not" reproach or abuse them. He dealt faithfully with them; reproved them; told them the unvarnished truth. Such faithfulness is rare; but when it "is" used, we must expect that people will flinch, perhaps be enraged. Though their consciences tell them they are "guilty," still they will consider it as abuse.

44. appear not, &c.—As one might unconsciously walk over a grave concealed from view, and thus contract ceremonial defilement, so the plausible exterior of the Pharisees kept people from perceiving the pollution they contracted from coming in contact with such corrupt characters. (See Ps 5:9; Ro 3:13; a different illustration from Mt 23:27). This lawyer was a scribe of the law, Luke 11:44. The work of these men was to interpret the law; the Pharisees strictly observed their decrees and interpretations. The lawyer therefore spake rightly in thinking our Saviour’s words had some reflection upon men of his order, but he woefully erred both in thinking his own order was unblamable, and also in calling our Lord’s just reproof a reproaching them. But by this he gives an occasion to him, who used rightly to divide the word of God, and to give every one their portion out of it, to let them know wherein they were faulty, as well as the Pharisees. Then answered one of the lawyers,.... Or Scribes, as the Syriac and Persic versions read: and so the Ethiopic version calls him, "a Scribe of the city": the Scribes and lawyers were the same sort of persons who were interpreters of the law, and equally tenacious of the traditions of the elders Christ had referred to, as the Pharisees, and in general were Pharisees; though some of them might be of the sect of the Sadducees. This man observing that Christ, in his last words, joined the Scribes and Pharisees together, and charged them both with hypocrisy, and pronounced a woe upon them, was very uneasy at it:

and saith unto him, master, thus saying, thou reproachest us also; us lawyers, or Scribes also; both by mentioning their names, and accusing the Pharisees of the same things, which they must be conscious to themselves they were equally guilty of; so that if the one were criminal, the others were also. The Ethiopic version reads by way of interrogation, "what thou sayest, does it not injure us?"

{14} Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.

(14) Hypocrites are very severe against other men, but think that all things are lawful for themselves.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 11:45. This νομικός was no Sadducee (Paulus, yet see his Exeget. Handb.), because he otherwise would not have applied these reproaches to himself as well as to the Pharisees, and Jesus would not have continued to discourse so entirely in an anti-Pharisaic tone, but he likewise was a Pharisee, as in general were most of the νομικοί. That he only partially professed the principles of the Pharisees is assumed by de Wette on account of καὶ ἡμᾶς, in which, however, is implied “not merely the common Pharisees (the laity), but even us, the learned, thou art aspersing.” The scribe calls what was a righteous ὀνειδίζειν (Matthew 11:20; Mark 16:14) by the name of ὑβρίζειν (Luke 18:32; Acts 14:5; Matthew 22:6). Although this episode is not mentioned in Matthew, there is no sufficient ground to doubt its historical character. Comp. on Luke 12:41. Consequently, all that follows down to Luke 11:52 is addressed to the νομικοί, as they are once again addressed at the close by name, Luke 11:52. But it is not to be proved that Luke in his representation had in view the legalists of the apostolic time (Weizsäcker), although the words recorded must needs touch them, just as they were also concerned in the denunciations of Matthew 23.Luke 11:45-52. Castigation of the scribes present; severe, but justified by having been invited.45. one of the lawyers] See on Luke 7:30, Luke 10:25. This Scribe thought that Jesus could not possibly mean to reflect on the honoured class who copied and expounded the Law.

reproachest] Literally, “insultest.” There was a difference between

Pharisees and lawyers; the position of the latter involved more culture and distinction. They were the ‘divines,’ the ‘theologians’ of that day. Hence the man’s reproach. ‘Lawyer’ and ‘Scribe’ seem to be more or less convertible terms (Luke 11:52-53; Matthew 23:13). Jesus here charges them with tyrannical insincerity (Luke 11:46), persecuting rancour (Luke 11:47-51), and theological arrogance and exclusiveness (Luke 11:52).Luke 11:45. [Ταῦτα, these things) which precede, especially in Luke 11:43.—V. g.]—ὑβρίζεις, thou dost insult) ὑβρίζειν, to insult, to treat with insolence, is a different idea from that of justly reproving, as expressed by ὀνειδίζειν, to reproach.Verse 45. - Then answered one of the lawyers Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also. It did not follow that all these professed jurists were of the Pharisee sect; some, doubtless, were Sadducees. It seems, however, probable that the greater proportion of these professional teachers and expounders of the Law did belong to the Pharisees. The oral and written Law, based upon the comparatively simple Mosaic code, had now become the absolute guide and director of the whole life of the people in all its smaller details. The various copyists, lecturers, teachers, and casuists, who debated the many doubtful points constantly arising in the perplexing and elaborate system, were all known under the general term "scribes." The lawyer was the scribe who had especially devoted his attention to the unravelment of the difficult and disputed questions which arose in the daily life of the people. This lawyer was certainly, considering the company he was associated with, of the strictest sect of Pharisees. This person could not believe that this able Rabbi from Galilee - for that they must all, after the morning's discussion, have allowed Jesus to be - could include him and his holy order in his terrible denunciations, the truth of which the learned scribe not improbably dimly discerned. Reproachest (ὑβρίζεις)

The lawyer converts Jesus' reproach (see Mark 16:14, upbraided) into an insult; the word meaning to outrage or affront.

Us also (καὶ ἡμᾶς)

Or perhaps better, even us, the learned.

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