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The Enemies of Christ - Luke 20:45-47


The Enemies of Christ                           (click here for audio)

(preached on January 8, 2017 at Swan Creek Baptist Church)

Pastor Chris Gowen                


Luke 20:45-47

45 And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47 who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

Here we see Jesus teaching the people.  It’s been a long day of teaching.  It’s Wednesday of Passion Week.  On Friday Jesus will die on the cross and on Sunday Rise from the dead.

A quick review of Passion Week –

·       Monday -  enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey

·       Tuesday -  cleanses the Temple – driving out those who sold -  saying to everyone
MY house shall be called a house of prayer;  but you have made it a den of robbers..

·       Wednesday -  teaching in the temple area;      cleansed it of all those illegitimate businesses;    dominates the temple grounds with the Word of God

·       Thursday -  teaching -   Satan will enter into Judas Iscariot…and will confer with the chief priests how he might betray Jesus --   Passover with disciples---  prays in Garden of Gethsemane---   soldiers come—Jesus arrested--- 

·       Friday – crucified

·       Saturday – in the tomb

·       Sunday -  rises from the dead---  the Resurrection of Jesus  bodily from the tomb

Luke 20 --   look  v.1     One day,  as Jesus was teaching……  preaching the gospel   - It’s Wednesday

People were hanging on his words….  They were hoping to see the Messiah set up his kingdom as promised in the Scriptures.    Great excitement----2 weeks prior -   raised Lazarus from dead

There were some other people…….the enemies of Jesus……  behind the scenes plotting to kill Jesus……  LOOK at   Luke 19:47-48

Same thing--  at the beginning of Jesus’s  ministry --   Mark 11   -  cleanses the temple -

Mark 11:18

18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching


JESUS has something to say to his disciples ---     He has been preaching to the crowds….  TURNS ATTENTION TO  DISCIPLES…..   V.45  HE SAID TO HIS DISCIPLES

He had been talking to the …..chief priest, scribes, elders -   vv.1-2-  tell us by what authority you do these things

Talked to them --  about paying taxes…. Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s

Talked to Sadducees--- denied Resurrection

Talked to all those religious leaders --  Identity of the Lord in Psalm 110  --  whose Son is he?



READ V.46     BEWARE of the scribes……     NOT SOMETHING NEW….   GO BACK TO

Luke 11:37   having lunch with a group of Pharisees…..  among that group would be scribes (or lawyers)…..  

·       Woe to you Pharisees       Luke 11:37-44   HE denounces the Pharisees

·       Woe to you lawyers  (scribes)    Luke 11:45-54

Go to Luke 12:1-2        beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy


Jesus said  ‘Beware’      To be on the side of caution

Jesus gives them

A disclosure

A description

A denounciation


1.  A   disclosure --    Jesus discloses their identity -----    scribes ---  Jesus didn’t say….there’s someone to be careful….beware of these people…..I’m not calling any names….  Just beware…..

The Lord did not want his disciples to be  Guessing  who their enemies were….

He disclosed their identity.    In Luke 20:1   Jesus was preaching the gospel….  At the end of Luke 20 ….he discloses the ENEMIES OF THE GOSPEL……

Romans 16:17-18

17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

2Timothy 2:16-18

16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.

2Timothy 4:14-15

14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.

It’s not hard to see in the Gospel  the enemies of Jesus.    It wasn’t  the low-life;  the riff-raff;  the drunkard;  the prostitues;  they were not Christ’s enemies.    It was the Pharisees,  the scribes,  the Sadducees,  the Herodians,  the chief priest….the religious establishment.

Jesus was in a battle from the time Mary laid him in a cradle….   There was King Herod…who sought to kill the baby Jesus.    His name is disclosed for all to know.

When Jesus began his public ministry….he was in the wilderness….fasting 40 days….he was tempted by the devil….His tempter is Satan…. The identity of the enemy is named.

Good lesson for Christians….  We will never win the battle against sin  unless we can pinpoint  who are enemy is.  

IPeter 5:8

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Who is our enemy?   The devil.     It’s not…  your adversary …it’s someone…I’m not calling names….  Just be careful…..

Be like  last Friday….going in to work…. About to enter the parking lot….a truck stop…a man rolled down his window…and warned me….don’t enter this …go a different direction……  people sliding around everywhere…getting in the ditch…

Silly,   tell someone….   Travel with caution….there are some places to avoid….I’m not going to tell you where the trouble spots are…not going to mention what particular roads to avoid…. Not calling any names…   just be careful…..


There’s a preacher on TV who is teaching some stuff you need to be careful about….

He’s actually saying  that there’s a different salvation provided for the Jews.  We are saved through Christ alone, by grace alone….  This preacher though is saying the Jews have another way to being saved.    I’m not mentioning any names,  because he might be someone’s favorite.      According to scriptures…you name him…. Make sure your information is correct….  Make sure you can back up what you say with sources….  This preacher is John Hagee from San Antonio, Texas.

To say,  there are other ways to being saved,  other than Jesus Christ..  is to be a Enemy of the Gospel



Jesus not only  discloses  their identity…

He describes them….specifically…


2.  Describe them specifically  

READ  vv.46-47   Who like to walk around in long robes,   love greetings….

One word -  describe them -    HYPOCRITES -   THEY ARE SPIRITUAL FRAUDS….


(1) LONG ROBES -   wearing robes was common,  but they had special robes,   fancy robes…  unique marks on them….giving the appearance of being “holy”

Matthew 23:5   They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,

Numbers 15:38    make tassels on the corners of their garments….remind them of law…… Jesus had this fringe on his robe….. Matt. 9:20…… the Pharisees  made their tassels   longer….   For appearance….not to help them in remembering the law…but for appearance sake…

NOT trying to bring attention to God;   and to God’s Word

BRINGING ATTENTION  to themselves…


Take a look on  TBN  and watch  Benny Hinn  out of Florida….look at his ridiculous wardrobe….   It brings attention to himself;   giving he appearance that he is someone special     ….  A holy person….




(2)  Loved respectful greetings:     they like titles..   Matthew 23…entire chapter is dedicated to what Jesus said to the scribes…..     loved to be called   ‘rabbi’   Exalted teacher;    wise one;     like today -  doctor –

Loved to be called-   Oh, great one--  most excellency -- 


Father -   Matt. 23:9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven


Teacher - Instructor


Matthew 23:10-11

10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.


A false teacher;   false preacher  is never humble….   One false teacher  I saw on television years ago…don’t know what happen….from California…Dr. Gene Scott…sits in a chair….talks… says deflamotory remarks…has a fat cigar in his mouth…wears a ridiculous hat….very proud….nothing humble  about the man…




(3) Love chief seats in the synagogues ----


From what I have read….. in the synagogues…. They had at the front…elevated platform…  this was for the Pharisees and scribes….  They had synagogues all over the land of Israel… if a scribe visited another synagogue…then…they would be ushered up to the prominent place of honor;    prestigious seats of honor;


(4)  Love places of honor at feasts,  or banquets ---   whenever there was a special occasion….  They were seated in a prestigious place  …next to the host of the banquet….  They were recognized… sat in a place of honor….   They were full of pride…


(5) Devour widow’s houses  ---


Devour -   means    to consume,  to eat….

God says there is judgment coming against those who oppress the weak,  the defenseless… Malachi 3:5   God will judge those who oppress the widow

Scribes,  experts of the law ---  devour the livelihood of widows…

1-   They would take money in exchange for giving advice,  legal matters that pertained to their situation…

2-   They would begin eating away at the widow’s estate by promising to provide legal protection

3-   They would be like leaches…taking advantage by staying and eating their food and taking the advantage of available room and board

Luke 16:14   “lovers of money”

This is the trademark of false teachers----  they prey on the weak;  the mentally deficient;  the most vulnerable people are their victims

The health, wealth prosperity gospel is a false teaching  that has drained the pocketbooks of millions…..  The largest church in Nigeria,  Africa has been built with by

Those who advocate the health, wealth, prosperity gospel…. In this church…people are promised riches,  wealth….  But they must give 1 month’s salary to their leader.


You have on TV  preachers who preach the prosperity gospel…    Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland,  Creflo Dollar,  Joyce Meyer


Anther one who promises…..a way to get rich,   pay off your bills,  and healing…if you send for the bottle of  miracle water, or holy water… Peter Popoff….  Preys on the weak.



(6) For pretense (appearance)  make  long prayers….

Long prayers are not necessarily wrong…….it’s the appearance …being long just for the sake of being long  to give the appearance of being holy

Matthew 6:5-6

“When you pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites; they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners in order to be seen by men.”


Pretense --  only for appearance-----  outside look good---  hides the ugliness reality on the inside….

Matthew 23:25-28

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.



3.  Denounce them publicly     v. 47  “the will receive….condemnation…”

Jesus doesn’t  commend them;   He condemns them.

Jesus is not saying they will receive  lesser condemnation,  but   greater condemnation.

Hebrews 10:29

29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

If you are in the wrong religion;  you are going to be condemned.

This is what will happen.


There is a growing group  called the Emerging Church…    It’s whole idea is to  be

Inclusive  doctrinally…    include everyone….even those who do not believe in Jesus Christ…..give them space around the table….and let them have a voice… 

Embrace diversity,    have a conversation…..away with preaching….  

What is obsolete…is  dogmatic preaching of divine truth…


This is where evangelicals are going….they want to forget about doctrine…because they say its  divisive… and it is…  what’s really important is that we tolerate each other;

We love each other;  we get along;    compromise is a virtue…

Compromise is essential in a healthy marriage…..but there’s one thing we don’t compromise…the clear teaching of scriptures….

Dogmatic preaching is OUT!     You can’t be absolutely dogmatitc…because there are other interpretations…and we must include others in the conversation…

There are some things in scriptures…we got some wiggle room…especially as far as the second coming of the Lord….  One thing is for sure….he’s coming….

There’s no wiggle room….as far as  the Deity of Christ;   the Inspriation of Scriptures;

The only way to be saved…by Christ alone ,   by grace alone,  iin faith alone…

Homosexuality  is a sin….

Adultery is a sin….

There is a literal burning Hell……   to deny it…explain it away… is to compromise the clear teaching of scriptures.


It is clear…. Jesus died, was buried,  and rose bodily from the tomb…

The gospel is clear…it’s not full of uncertainty….  The preaching of the cross….is our mandate…. 

We preach Christ crucified.   Christ resurrected…  Christ glorified.


Jude 3-4   Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

2Timothy 4

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.


The enemies of the gospel  are ever present…

We must beware of their influence  in how they turn our hearts and families away from the Lord Jesus Christ.


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