Luke 11:33-54

Talks for Growing Christians

Two Parables about Light; The Scribes and Pharisees Denounced

Luke 11:33-54

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Lesson Number 32

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Lord commended the light and sight of believers.
  2. The Lord denounced the legalism and hypocrisy of unbelievers.

Practical Application

  1. Use a meal to discuss an important matter.


  1. There are many passages in the four gospels that are similar to one another. Are these different versions of the same event?
  2. What is the slight difference in emphasis between Matthew 5:14-16 and Luke 11:33-36?
  3. What was the application of verse 34 for the Lord’s audience?
  4. What prompted the Lord’s denouncement of the Scribes and Pharisees (verse 38)?
  5. Why did the Lord mention the murders from Abel to Zechariah?


  1. Sometimes they are accounts of the same event, but sometimes they may be records of different events. For example, if Jesus rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees on two different occasions, there would probably be a lot of overlap of what He said each time.
  2. The emphasis in Matthew is an exhortation for us as believers to let our light shine. The emphasis in Luke seems to be that the Lord as the Light had come and the Scribe and Pharisees saw the light but rejected it.
  3. The Light of the World had come, but Israel had bad eyesight. They were not receiving the Light and thus they were in spiritual darkness and could not see.
  4. A Pharisee was surprised that Jesus did not wash His hands before the meal. This was a ceremonial washing and it was not commanded in the Law. So the Lord used this occasion to denounce the legalism and hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees.
  5. Not to cover all murders from A-Z! Abel, who was murdered by his brother Cain, was the first murder victim in history. The murder of Zechariah a priest, recorded in 2 Chronicles 24, comes at the end of the Hebrew Old Testament.


  1. How is your spiritual eyesight? If you have good spiritual eyesight, then you can and will receive the true Light of this World, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Review the three woes the Lord pronounced on the Pharisees. What were the heart issues that the Pharisees ignored while keeping the appearance of the Law? The Lord also pronounced three woes on the Scribes, the lawyers of that day.


  1. Jesus did not accept the invitation to the Pharisee’s house just to eat and enjoy small talk. He took the opportunity to discuss an important manner, and we can do the same.

Key Verses

  • “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.” Luke 11:33
  • “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.” Luke 11:34
  • “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” Luke 11:44

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