Luke 11:29-54 Signs and Woes

Luke 11:29-54 – signs, Light and woes

(Kids at the Well – see “notes” at the bottom of the page )

The Sign of Jonah

29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.

Compare Jonah’s message and Ninevah’s repentance with

                  Jesus’ message and Israel’s rejection

       Ninevites ( pagan and depraved) had enough sense to listen to faulted prophet.

       Israel, on the other hand….

The Lamp of the Body

33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy,[g] your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy,[h] your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

Israel’s light lit then hidden – senseless

ILLUS – the light police … makes no sense to turn on a light and leave the room!

       Israel lit light is then covered up

John 3:19“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 

Isaiah 9:2  The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.

Isaiah 49:6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

MacArthur “You better be careful, you better watch out that the light you think is in you is not in fact darkness. This is so hard to deal with. When a person thinks they have the light, they come to a very dangerous place. This is why Satan disguises himself as an angel of … light. That’s his great deception, to make people think they found the light when in fact it’s the darkness.”

“Therefore I speak to them in parables (which are riddles if not explained); because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; “ (Mt 13:13-14from Isa 6:9)

Woes on the Pharisees and the Experts in the Law

37 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38 But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.

He was surprised that He had not first ceremonially washed before the meal – There was no regulation in the Mosaic Law stating one needed to ceremonially wash before meals. Men added this hypocritical “rule” which dealt only with external “uncleanliness” but said nothing about the uncleanness of the heart. They demonstrated (they thought) their holiness but demonstrating their attention to external cleanliness but they it was all show because their heart remained unclean before God

ILLUS – magic and slight of hand …

39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.

WOE -Jesus uses it to convey a warning of impending judgment and disaster on the Pharisees.


ILLUS – bridge out sign…

Woe – letter of the law without love

42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.

Levitical tithe – Lev 27

30 ‘Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. 31 ‘If, therefore, a man wishes to redeem part of his tithe, he shall add to it one-fifth of it. 32 ‘For every tenth part of herd or flock, whatever apasses under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord.

The implication from the text is that the Pharisees gave alms, but without any of the spiritual concern which should have motivated those generous actions.

Religious duties are not to be performed hypocritically, i.e., for the applause and esteem of people, but rather they are to be done out of a deep love for God and a sensitivity to and concern for the needs of others. Then, everything will be clean, both hearts and lives.

Woe – LOVE SHOWING OFF – desperate need to be seen

43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.

WOE – the walking unclean / unmarked graves

      ILLUS – white washing tombs to keep from accidentally coming in contact

44 Woeto you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.”

45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.”

46 Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law,

WOE (3x) – burdens ( loopholes)

woeto you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

What a contrast the rules of the legalistic formalists were when compared to the gentle invitation of Jesus to help bear their burdens… 

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt 11:28-30)

WOE – not listening or learning from prophets of the past

47 Woeto you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. 48 So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’

(They honored DEAD prophets , but the lives ones were persecuted to death…)

Steven Cole – The fifth woe: Legalism dodges the personal application of God’s holiness, but pretends outwardly to honor it (Lk 11:47-51).

Steven Cole – Jesus lumps the current leaders with their ancestors who killed the prophets. He is saying that the current leaders are finishing off the job that the earlier generations started. As in all the other woes, the underlying problem is that though outwardly they act as if they honor the prophets, inwardly they do not repent of the very sins which the prophets condemned.

THEREFORE – the depth of your responsibility grows

50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.

WOE – thieves of the KEY

52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.

53 When Jesus went outside, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercelyand to besiege him with questions, 54 waiting to catch him in something he might say.



                      AND THEY WERE UNMOVED, UNCHANGED,

Sign, Light, Woes

    Those targeted by these woes should have KNOWN BETTER ….

    What here did you HEAR for your own life?

          They and their father heard the prophets

          They heard the words of JESUS…

    Isaiah 33:6

(Chapter begins with WOES !)

He will be the sure foundation for your times,

    a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;

    the fear of the Lord is the keyto this treasure.[a]




Christians Care for One Another Psalm 23; Acts 2:42-47
Let’s Praise God!
Worship God along with music videos.

Living Inside Out


Be Strong in the Lord

Bible Exploration
Biblical Behavior
Pretend they’re in Bible times, pray together, and enjoy a snack to learn how early Christians treated one another.
Bible, 1 towel or piece of cloth per person, blankets, snack
Weaving Faith Into Life
Friends in Need
Act out ways Christians can spur one another toward love and good deeds.
„Bible Point God’s family takes care of each other.
Key Verse
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24- 25).
Weaving Faith Into Life
Kids will learn how Christians can take care of one another.

Let’s Praise God!
Play these music videos and have kids sing and do the motions along with the videos.

Living Inside Out

Be Strong in the Lord

Biblical Behavior
What You’ll Do
Say: Today’s Bible passage is all about the first Christians in the early church. After Jesus went back to heaven, his disciples began to teach people about Jesus. More and more people came to believe in Jesus, so the early church grew bigger and bigger. The Bible tells us how these first Christians in the early church treated one another, and we’ll learn all about that in a minute.
But to help us learn the Bible passage, let’s imagine we’re Christians in the early church!
Everyone will wrap a towel or cloth around their heads as headdresses. Place the blankets on the floor, and invite everyone to get comfortable.
Say: I’m going to read a short Bible passage, and we’ll all act out what happens. Listen carefully, and I’ll tell you what to do. Ready? Let’s begin.
This Bible passage in Acts 2:42-47 is about the first Christians. It takes place not long after Jesus went back to heaven. Here’s what the Bible says: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
• What do you think the Bible means when it says the first Christians devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching?
Say: The apostles were teaching the people all about Jesus. Let’s each share one thing we know about Jesus!
Everyone will say one thing they know about Jesus, such as “Jesus loves me” or “Jesus is God.”
Say: The Bible also says the early Christians devoted themselves to fellowship. Having fellowship can be as simple as being nice and friendly to one another. Let’s practice that right now.
Spring Quarter Lesson 5

If it can be done safely, everyone will shake hands with one another, saying hello and giving friendly greetings to each other as they shake hands. (Can’t shake hands? Shake feet instead, by touching toes to each other’s toes.) Then everyone will sit down again.
Say: The Bible says that the first Christians broke bread together and prayed together. That means they ate together and prayed together. Let’s do that, too! First we’ll pray, and then we’ll enjoy a little snack together.
Lead a prayer, thanking God for giving us good food to eat and a loving family to share it with. Then everyone will share a snack as you continue.
Say: Now let’s see what else the Bible says about how the first Christians treated one another. Listen to what the Bible says: “Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.”
• Tell about some things you’ve shared with other people.
Say: The apostles had been given power by God, and they told everyone that their power came from God. That way, more and more people believed in Jesus. And all the believers in Jesus had everything in common, which means that they shared what they had with one another. Let’s find things we can share!
Everyone will run to find something they can share, ideally something that requires a bit of sacrifice. Maybe a child will get out a favorite toy or some leftover candy. Or people could bring something that represents a talent to share, such as a book to represent reading to a younger sibling. Have everyone pile their items together.
Say: Let’s find out more about how the early Christians treated one another. The Bible says: “Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” Let’s think about how we can help people in need.
Everyone will brainstorm together needs people have, especially needs specific to what’s going on with COVID-19. Then everyone will brainstorm ways to help solve the needs.
Say: There’s one more sentence in this Bible passage, and it’s important. Here it is: “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
We’re saved when we believe in Jesus. When we believe in Jesus, he forgives our sins, and we can live with him forever. That’s great news! But to believe in Jesus, people need to hear about him first!
• Think of someone you can tell about Jesus. How can you tell that person, even if you can’t leave the house?
Talk With Kids
• Which of the ways the early Christians cared for each other means the most to you, and why?
• How are those ways similar to or different from the ways you’ve seen people in our church care for each other?

• What things can hold people back from giving care to other Christians?
Say: Well, now we know how the first Christians cared for one another. Our Bible passage tells
us they cared a lot for each other. But what about today? It can be as true today as it was in
the early church that „GOD’S FAMILY TAKES CARE OF EACH OTHER. Let’s practice treating each other with great Christian care right now.
Spring Quarter Lesson 5

Friends in Need
What You’ll Do
Say: Our Key Verse for today is found in Hebrews 10:24-25. Let’s take a look at it.
Have everyone find the passage in their Bibles, and read the verses aloud: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Everyone will repeat the Key Verse a few times.
Say: This verse says not to stop meeting together with the church…but right now, we had to do
that to keep everyone safe. That doesn’t mean we can’t still encourage each other!
Each person will take turns thinking of a way to encourage people and then act them out—without speaking. Encourage them to think of ways they can care for others while they are at home because of COVID-19 pandemic and later after they will be back to their normal lives. You can suggest ideas like eating together at school or church, hanging encouraging notes in the window, praying with your family, comforting someone who’s sad, praying for someone over video chat, and enjoying meeting together in different settings. Have those not acting try to guess what they’re doing.
Talk With Kids
• What does it mean to encourage people?
• Tell about a time someone encouraged you.
• How did you see encouragement in our Bible passage about the first Christians?
• What other ways can you learn from the first Christians about how to apply our Key
Say: We can all show love toward others, and we can all do good deeds. And as the Bible says, we can all encourage one another toward love and good deeds. Our Bible passages for today
show us that „GOD’S FAMILY TAKES CARE OF EACH OTHER. It’s not always easy to care, but it gets easier with practice. And when others see that we love each other and are kind to each other, they will want to be a part of our group, too. They’ll want to have what we have— Jesus’ love!