This is the fifth in a series on Jesus vs the Pharisees in Luke 11:37-54 (read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4)
Jesus now moves on to the lawyers as he accuses them of putting heavy burdens on other people that they don't touch themselves.
Religion leads to hypocrisy because it has no power to transform lives, that can only be done by the power of the Holy Spirit. A list of rules can’t change anything, in fact it probably makes it worse. Religion is powerless to change us. (See Colossians 2:23)
Religious people also want others to behave in a way that they themselves don’t. They expect high standards from others and have little patience when people get it wrong, but they give themselves a lot of excuses (eg mark 7:9-13 – avoiding supporting parents by dedicating their gift to God).
Does that sound familiar? We tend to want justice for others and mercy for us! Religion can't change our hearts. It doesn't work!