Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over themare not aware of them.Luke 11:44
Jesus concludes His fourfold condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees with a death blow to their egos!
These men took great pride in being seen as the most intelligent people in Israel. They loved to be called, teacher, rabbi, and light of the world, among other titles. They felt they were the source of all wisdom and knowledge for the Jews.
What is interesting is that is exactly what they were supposed to be!
God had given the Jews His revealed will in the scriptures of the Old Testament. They were blessed and advantaged far above any other nation because of this. The leaders were given the responsibility to teach each generation from the law and prophets so that they would be wise in their actions and trust God all the more. The problem is, the teachers had stopped doing this generations before.
They had become so self-serving that they were no longer feeding the flock of God in Israel. They were charged with feeding the flock of God but they were consuming them in their lusts, worldly pleasures, and political pride. Jesus declares that He came to do what they would not do.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!Matthew 23:37
In our passage here in Luke, Jesus gives a not-so-subtle rebuke of their teaching abilities. He tells them they are like unmarked graves that people walk over without even noticing they are there. He is declaring that, though they think themselves to be wise and good teachers, they are actually having no positive effect on the people fo Israel at all!
Further, Jesus use the picture of a grave to describe their condition. They think they are the source of life but they are in the place of the dead!