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God’s Word for You

Luke 11:44 unmarked graves

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Friday, July 27, 2018

44 Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves that people walk over without realizing it.”

Every year at the Passover, the Jews had a tradition of painting their tombs with an inexpensive homemade paint made from lime and water, known as whitewash. This was so that no one would accidentally come into contact with the tomb as they walked past, since there was a precept that no one could celebrate the Passover if they had come into contact with a dead body (Numbers 19:11 and compare Numbers 9:6). The problem was that if a grave was forgotten—if the family all died, for example—then it might not be whitewashed, and a person might become unclean in God’s eyes without knowing it. Of course, the rule about whitewashing assumed that touching a tomb was the same as touching a dead body, so there was really a question about what extreme length God wanted his people to observe this law. Who could know where Adam was buried? Or Noah? If their bones were in your garden, would God hold you guilty for walking there six thousand years later?

The people were like someone walking on an unnoticed grave. They were being contaminated and defiled by the Pharisees’ rules. Everyone who came into contact with them became unclean before God because of the foulness of the Pharisees. Their brand of holiness shut out the gospel and focused everyone’s attention on the law, and not even the Law of Moses; the law of God. Their brand of holiness made people concentrate on rules that weren’t in God’s word and made them forget about the grace of God and the forgiveness of sins that are central to God’s word.

Put your trust in Jesus always. “Trust in God,” Jesus said; “trust also in me” (John 14:1). He guides you in the way he wants you to go. He keeps you from following any path that leads to destruction. He shows you the will of the Father, and he lifts you up whenever you stumble along the way.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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