37. When Jesus had finished saying these things, a Pharisee came up to Him and invited Him to eat at his house. Being in the habit of accepting just about every social invitation, Jesus went with the man and reclined at his table.
38. But the Pharisee couldn't get past the fact that Jesus didn't first wash before the meal in the customary way.
39. Being aware of this, He said to him, "You know what? You Pharisees make such a production out of cleaning the outside of cups and dishes, while you completely ignore the obvious truth that inside yourselves you are full of greed and wickedness.
40. Your religion has made you people ridiculous! Didn't the One who made the external world make the internal world, also?
41. If you'd stop worrying for one minute about the superficial rules, and start caring about what's happening with real people...if you'd give what's inside the dish to the poor, for example...then everything that actually matters would be clean for you.
42. You Pharisees sicken me! You are so faithful to tithe to God a tenth of all your produce, but you completely neglect things like speaking out about justice and tolerance, and ministering on the love of God! I'm not saying that you shouldn't tithe...I'm saying that you should have practiced tithing without it having become a mechanical ritual...a thing that causes you to leave these other important things undone.
43. You Pharisees are going to face ruin, because you love the attention...the applause...the notoriety of having the most important seats in the synagogues, and being treated like celebrities out in the marketplaces.
44. You Pharisees are going to become absolutely obsolete...you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it."
45. One of the experts in the law who was present at the table answered Him, "Teacher, when you insult the Pharisees like this, you insult us, also."
46. Jesus replied, "You experts in the law...I say the same things to you! You load people down with burdens that they can hardly carry...rules and regulations that didn't even come from God...religious observations that are self-serving for you, which prop up your agendas...and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them!
47. Calamity is coming to you, too, because you build extravagant tombs for the prophets, and it was your own forefathers who killed them.
48. In so doing, you testify that you approve of what your forefathers did...they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs.
49. This is why God, in His foreknowledge, said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill, and others they will persecute and run off.'
50. Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed...not just the ones you know about, but all the ones since the beginning of the world.
51. I'm referring to everything and all of them, from the blood of Abel, to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. I'm telling you the truth, this generation will reap the bitter harvest for it all.
52. Destruction is coming to you experts in the law, because your legalism and closed-minded perspective and influence has taken away the very key to knowledge from your people. It's bad enough that you yourselves have not entered the door of revelation...worse yet, you have hindered those who were entering on their own."
53. When Jesus left there that day, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to aggressively and openly oppose Him...and from that point on they bombarded Him with controversial questions at every opportunity.
54. They had made it their goal to get Him to entrap and condemn Himself with His own words.