Jesus and the Pharisees
Jesus - Scribes and Pharisees: In the 1st century, scribes and Pharisees were two largely for marriage, divorce, loans, inheritance, mortgages, the sale of land, and the like). Caiaphas then asked him if he was “the Christ, the Son of God. In discussing the relationship of Jesus to the Pharisees, I have divided this They also believed that in order to remain in favour with God, the keeping of the. The Pharisees and Jesus objected to the way the Temple in Jerusalem had become too The Book of Mormon can help you build a relationship with God.
Up until this critical time of Jesus' life, he had attempted to maintain a low profile. He usually told his disciples and people he healed to refrain from telling others who he really was, that is, the Messiah. Jesus was not sent to be the charismatic King of national Israel - one who would lead them into battle and sit on a glorious earthly throne.
He wasn't going to draw ridiculous amounts of followers to himself - he didn't want to raise a "movement" while he remained on earth. That was not the Father's plan for his Son's earthly duties. Well, his time had now come and the sacrifice that the Father had appointed to him was imminent. Jesus no longer cared that people knew exactly who he was and in fact, he told them exactly who he was! Immediately before this blistering attack on the hypocrites began, Jesus told the religious leaders that he was the Messiah!
They now heard, straight from his mouth, who he claimed to be, without any doubt Matthew So, it's time Jesus and the Pharisees agreed on who they really were - hypocrites! There is no one that Jesus Christ despised more than a wolf in sheep clothing, which is what these religious hypocrites really were. Jesus' immediate mission was to prove these hypocrites wrong, because they did not believe that he was the Messiah.
Jesus had to defend the truth. The world had to know that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, who came to take away the sins of the world.
Jesus was telling the disciples and other listeners to follow what the Pharisees taught. After telling his followers to respect God by disallowing anyone to call them "Rabbi," "Father" or "Teacher," he turned his volcanic wrath upon the Pharisees. He unleashed a verbal assault and called down eternal condemnation upon these self-righteous, religious hypocrites. He pronounced seven woes upon them in this vitriolic verbal assault.
Let's evaluate Jesus and the Pharisees' diatribe in Jerusalem.The Bible - The Pharisee and The Tax Collector
Woe 1 Matthew The relationship between Jesus and the Pharisees was now ready to boil over. He judged the Pharisees for willful rebellion against him and that they would not be allowed to pass judgment.
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Their rebellion not only kept them out of heaven, but it also stopped the seekers of truth from experiencing God. Jesus wants all men to come to know him and his Father, but these religious hypocrites were standing in the way.
Hypocrites block the Kingdom of Heaven's gates! Jesus despises nothing more, because these men were entrusted with the souls of people to lead them to the Good Shepherd. Unfortunately, they led them directly into Satan's grip. Christian hypocrites also block people from salvation. Woe 2 Matthew Teachers of Judaism, including the Pharisees, were active in global missionary activity.
They would lead Gentiles into strict observance of Judaism and the Law. Jesus called them out because they themselves were the worst kind of hypocrites already, but now they were leading others into hypocrisy. These new converts proselytes would often become more zealous for works-based religion than the Pharisees who led them to Judaism. In other words, Christ condemned them for the multiplication of hypocrisy. They were rebellious, lost, and thusly "children of hell.
Christian hypocrites must heed these warnings from Jesus and the Pharisees' discussion. Woe 3 Matthew Jesus castigated the "Blind Guides" for polluting the people's minds and acts about the oath and vow system. Oaths were promises the people made to God, for many things, but most notably sacrifices they would bring to the altar, or possibly some service they would perform.
The people would swear by heaven or earth or Jerusalem or the Temple, etc. The Pharisees, however, turned something so simple and pure into a massive set of ridiculous laws. For instance, an oath made by the "gold of the temple" was more binding than an oath simply made by "the temple.
The Pharisees liked their valuables and their hypocritical laws proved it. Woe 4 Matthew Jesus and the Pharisees' conversation continued and Jesus pinpointed yet another error in their activities. The Pharisees had an elaborate tithing giving system that they wrote into Law. They presented the Law to make themselves look good to the public.
They tithed from everything and the people were consequently impressed with them. Jesus called them out for fraud and leading people astray.
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He said in their zeal for tithing they totally forgot about "justice, mercy, and faithfulness" which God required for his people. The Pharisees substituted unbearable tithing laws for the giving ordinances.
They replaced God's beautiful spiritual graces with man's overbearing regulations. Shame on the Blind Guides. Christian hypocrites, every one of us, take note. Woe 5 Matthew The Pharisees demanded ceremonial cleansing of everything, including their drinking cups.
They were extremely concerned about the details in cup washing. Jesus called them hypocrites for worrying more about the outside of a cup than the inside of the cup, because the drink actually came in contact with the inside of the cup. Jesus used the illustration to expose them for worrying more about their external appearance than their inward integrity and character. We Christians should learn that appearances are not priorities. Woe 6 Matthew Similar to the fifth woe, the sixth woe found Jesus using the appropriate illustration of white-washed tombs to enlighten the crowd about the Pharisees' hypocrisy.
Hebrews buried their dead in tombs and after sealing them with a stone, they would paint the outside white. So, the tombs were actually beautiful in appearance, however, they were full of rotting corpses. Jesus told the Pharisees that's exactly what they were - beautiful on the outside, but rotting death on the inside. This is such a shocking illustration.
A man is only as righteous as his character dictates - he is only as holy as his last sinful thought. A person spends lots of time keeping his body attractive, but God knows exactly what's happening on the inside.
You can't fool him. Woe 7 Matthew I said the first woe was what Jesus hated the most.
I take that statement back! Woe 7 is by far the worst thing that the Pharisees do to draw God's ire. Jesus says that in spite of the internal corruption of these religious hypocrites, they present themselves as God's representatives who silence and kill the prophets, who they claim are false.
The Pharisees are cut from the same cloth as those who killed God's greatest prophets and they will be held accountable for their association.
Pharisees - Wikipedia
Jesus calls them snakes, collectively a brood of vipers. He knows they are already planning to kill him, the Messiah himself. He knows the evil in their hearts. He knows they will also kill most of his disciples and many of his future followers. Christ is condemning these wicked men for pretending to be holy, when they themselves are murdering the holy men who were sent by God. Jesus Christ condemns the Pharisees for all the past murders of his prophets and all the future murders of him and his prophets.
These Pharisees would experience the worst of God's wrath. The "Jesus" film rendition of this tirade is posted on Youtube at the end of this lesson.
Jesus and the Pharisees - Grasp This! Christian hypocrites are simply people who outwardly pretend to be better than what they inwardly are.
A man cannot fool God, though. God is keeping records. There will be no escaping judgment day for the Christian hypocrites. Jesus and the Pharisees' relationship is of profound interest to Christians. We get mighty high on ourselves and soon start condemning the lost. Chronic personal hypocrisy is a sure sign of an immature Christian.
Jesus Christ wanted this Matthew 23 tirade recorded so we could learn from him. He doesn't want us to be hypocrites and guilty of the same thing as these men were. Hypocrisy does so much damage to God's Kingdom because it repels the lost from his amazing grace.
St Paul the Apostle indirectly suggests a cure for habitual hypocrisy, "So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. God hates nothing greater than hypocrisy - Jesus and the Pharisees' relationship proved it. Here is what we should practice so we minimize our own personal Christian hypocrisy: Examine ourselves, first and foremost, making certain our own faith is genuine 2 Corinthians We need to daily peer into the mirror of the Ten Commandments to make sure our lives are pure.
An example of this differing approach is the interpretation of, "an eye in place of an eye". The Pharisaic understanding was that the value of an eye was to be paid by the perpetrator. The Pharisees preserved the Pharisaical oral law in the form of the Talmud. They would become the foundation of Rabbinic Judaism. The sages of the Talmud see a direct link between themselves and the Pharisees, and historians generally consider Pharisaic Judaism to be the progenitor of Rabbinic Judaismthat is normative, mainstream Judaism after the destruction of the Second Temple.
All mainstream forms of Judaism today consider themselves heirs of Rabbinic Judaism and, ultimately, the Pharisees. The Hasmonean period[ edit ] Main articles: Hasmoneans and Maccabees Although the Pharisees did not support the wars of expansion of the Hasmoneans and the forced conversions of the Idumeansthe political rift between them became wider when a Pharisee named Eleazar insulted the Hasmonean ethnarch John Hyrcanus at his own table, suggesting that he should abandon his role as High Priest due to a rumour, probably untrue, that he had been conceived while his mother was a prisoner of war.
In response, he distanced himself from the Pharisees. His actions caused a riot in the Temple and led to a brief civil war that ended with a bloody repression of the Pharisees. However, on his deathbed Jannaeus advised his widow, Salome Alexandrato seek reconciliation with the Pharisees. Her brother was Shimon ben Shetach, a leading Pharisee. Josephus attests that Salome was favorably inclined toward the Pharisees, and their political influence grew tremendously under her reign, especially in the Sanhedrin or Jewish Council, which they came to dominate.
After her death her elder son Hyrcanus II was generally supported by the Pharisees. Her younger son, Aristobulus IIwas in conflict with Hyrcanus, and tried to seize power.
The Pharisees seemed to be in a vulnerable position at this time. Josephus' account may overstate the role of the Pharisees. As Josephus was himself a Pharisee, his account might represent a historical creation meant to elevate the status of the Pharisees during the height of the Hasmonean Dynasty.
In their day, the influence of the Pharisees over the lives of the common people was strong and their rulings on Jewish law were deemed authoritative by many. The Roman period[ edit ] Main article: Judaea Roman province Pompey in the Temple of Jerusalem, by Jean Fouquet According to Josephus, the Pharisees appeared before Pompey asking him to interfere and restore the old priesthood while abolishing the royalty of the Hasmoneans altogether "Ant.
Pharisees also opened Jerusalem's gates to the Romans, and actively supported them against the Sadducean faction. In Rome, Herod sought the support of Mark Antony and Octavianand secured recognition by the Roman Senate as king, confirming the termination of the Hasmonean dynasty. Herod was an unpopular ruler, perceived as a Roman puppet. The family of Boethuswhom Herod had raised to the high-priesthood, revived the spirit of the Sadducees, and thenceforth the Pharisees again had them as antagonists "Ant.
While it stood, the Second Temple remained the center of Jewish ritual life. According to the Torah, Jews were required to travel to Jerusalem and offer sacrifices at the Temple three times a year: The Pharisees, like the Sadducees, were politically quiescent, and studied, taught, and worshiped in their own way. At this time serious theological differences emerged between the Sadducees and Pharisees.
The notion that the sacred could exist outside the Temple, a view central to the Essenes, was shared and elevated by the Pharisees. The Pharisaic legacy[ edit ] At first the values of the Pharisees developed through their sectarian debates with the Sadducees; then they developed through internal, non-sectarian debates over the law as an adaptation to life without the Temple, and life in exile, and eventually, to a more limited degree, life in conflict with Christianity. Beliefs[ edit ] No single tractate of the key Rabbinic texts, the Mishnah and the Talmudis devoted to theological issues; these texts are concerned primarily with interpretations of Jewish law, and anecdotes about the sages and their values.
Only one chapter of the Mishnah deals with theological issues; it asserts that three kinds of people will have no share in "the world to come: Another passage suggests a different set of core principles: Judah haNasihowever, said that Jews must "be meticulous in small religious duties as well as large ones, because you do not know what sort of reward is coming for any of the religious duties," suggesting that all laws are of equal importance.
In comparison with Christianitythe Rabbis were not especially concerned with the messiah or claims about the messiah or ranking the laws in importance.
Monotheism[ edit ] One belief central to the Pharisees was shared by all Jews of the time is monotheism. This is evident in the practice of reciting the Shemaa prayer composed of select verses from the Torah Deuteronomy 6: According to the Mishnah and Talmud, the men of the Great Assembly instituted the requirement that Jews both in Judea and in the diaspora pray three times a day morning, afternoon and eveningand include in their prayers a recitation of these passages in the morning " Shacharit " and evening " Ma'ariv " prayers.
Wisdom[ edit ] Pharisaic wisdom was compiled in one book of the Mishna, Pirkei Avot. The Pharisaic attitude is perhaps best exemplified by a story about the sages Hillel the Elder and Shammaiwho both lived in the latter half of the 1st century BCE.
A gentile once challenged Shammai to teach him the wisdom of the Torah while he stood on one foot. Shammai drove him away. The same gentile approached Hillel and asked of him the same thing. Hillel chastised him gently by saying, "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.
That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation — now go and study. This also accords with the statement in Pirkei Avot 3: All is foreseen, but freedom of choice is given". According to Josephus, Pharisees were further distinguished from the Sadducees in that Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead.
Afterlife Unlike the Sadducees, who are generally held to have rejected any existence after death, the sources vary on the beliefs of the Pharisees on the afterlife. According to the New Testament the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the deadbut it does not specify whether this resurrection included the flesh or not.
This was a more participatory or "democratic" form of Judaism, in which rituals were not monopolized by an inherited priesthood but rather could be performed by all adult Jews individually or collectively; whose leaders were not determined by birth but by scholarly achievement.
Jesus and the Pharisees
Many, including some scholars, have characterized the Sadducees as a sect that interpreted the Torah literally, and the Pharisees as interpreting the Torah liberally.
R' Yitzhak Isaac Halevi suggests that this was not, in fact, a matter of religion. He claims that the complete rejection of Judaism would not have been tolerated under the Hasmonean rule and therefore Hellenists maintained that they were rejecting not Judaism but Rabbinic law. Thus, the Sadducees were in fact a political party not a religious sect. He suggests that two things fundamentally distinguished the Pharisaic from the Sadducean approach to the Torah.
First, Pharisees believed in a broad and literal interpretation of Exodus Moreover, the Torah already provided ways for all Jews to lead a priestly life: The Pharisees believed that all Jews in their ordinary life, and not just the Temple priesthood or Jews visiting the Temple, should observe rules and rituals concerning purification. The Oral Torah[ edit ] Main article: Oral Torah The standard view is that the Pharisees differed from Sadducees in the sense that they accepted the Oral Torah in addition to the Scripture.
Saldarini argues that this assumption has neither implicit nor explicit evidence. A critique of the ancient interpretations of the Bible are distant from what modern scholars consider literal. Saldarini states that the Oral Torah did not come about until the third century AD, although there was an unstated idea about it in existence.
Every Jewish community in a way possessed their own version of the Oral Torah which governed their religious practices. Josephus stated that the Sadducees only followed literal interpretations of the Torah. To Saldarini, this only means that the Sadducees followed their own way of Judaism and rejected the Pharisaic version of Judaism.
The Oral Torah was to remain oral but was later given a written form. It did not refer to the Torah in a status as a commentary, rather had its own separate existence which allowed Pharisaic innovations.
Thus, one may conceive of the "Oral Torah" not as a fixed text but as an ongoing process of analysis and argument in which God is actively involved; it was this ongoing process that was revealed at Sinai, and by participating in this ongoing process rabbis and their students are actively participating in God's ongoing act of revelation.