This is the 7th and final post in a series on Jesus vs the Pharisees from Luke 11:37-54 (read parts 1,2,3,4,5,6)
Finally Jesus accuses the lawyers of misusing the "key of knowledge". They had knowledge of God's law which should lead to God/Jesus but instead, they totally missed the point. They studied the scriptures but didn't recognise that it all pointed to Jesus (See John 5:39). We need to make sure we don't miss the point. We have heard the gospel, we have been given the key of knowledge, don't fail to go in.
Also, Jesus says that they hindered others from entering. Religion is not just a problem for you. A religious attitude can obscure Jesus and the cross and make people think Christianity is about rule keeping. If someone with an obvious sin asked us what it means to become a Christian would we talk about the cross or would we say/think “well, you’ll have to stop doing that”. Non Christians all over the country confuse Christianity with religion, they must have got that idea from somewhere!
Jesus uses harsh language in this whole section. Jesus confronted the Pharisees' religion because He loved them. They just continued to harden their hearts and actively oppose Him. If we are religious, our hearts become hard towards the real gospel and our religion is not helping us move closer to Him, it is pushing us further away.
We don't need behaviour modification, we need a heart transplant. Jesus died in our place for our sins so that we can come back to Him. Coming to him with our tithing record, our knowledge of the bible, our public reputation, means nothing if our hearts aren't His. It is not dependant on works but totally on grace, so we don't need to feel pride or despair and we can worship God in every aspect of our lives knowing we are clean because he has made us clean.