Last Days Ministries : Pharisees, Sadducees, or Jesus
In reply, Jesus said the Sadducees were ignorant of two things. The Sadducees, like the Pharisees, continued with the persecution of Jesus' disciples . As defenders of the status quo, the Sadducees viewed the ministry of Jesus with considerable alarm and apparently played some role in his trial and death. Although the Sadducees rejected the oral tradition cherished by the Pharisees, they also rejected belief in angels and in the resurrection of the.
In contrast, the Sadducees were a very wealthy group of guys who sat around and dialogued on philosophical ideas - sort of a wealthy and powerful men's club. They had a "let's not rock the boat" mentality which caused them to live a life of compromise. They were the ones who held most of the power - and all of the money. They were more concerned with outward appearance than with eternal values. A Sadducee's reputation in society was more important to him than a personal relationship with God.
If you look at the Body of Christ today, you'll see we have both Pharisees and Sadducees resident in abundance. We have people who will kill you for what they consider to be "incorrect doctrine. If you sin a little, what difference does it make? We're just human after all! Here was God in human form, walking upon the earth for the first and only time in history - and guess what?
He was not a Pharisee or a Sadducee! God's True Representative Before Jesus came on the scene, there was no accurate representation of God. God had been misrepresented by the legalism of the Pharisees, and His character had been watered down by the compromising philosophy of the Sadducees.
You might think, "What a sad situation those people must have been in! The Body of Christ is plagued by extremes.
Sometimes new Christians who've just come out of sinful lifestyles tend to be hard-line and Pharisee-like. Or young people who have come to Christ after being raised in a harsh or legalistic home may tend more towards being like the Sadducees: Let's just get rid of all the nuclear warheads and fundamentalists - then we can fully enjoy the earth experience.
Is it possible to be compassionate and not compromise like the Sadducees? It must be possible - because Jesus did it! He is our perfect example. He hated sin yet majored in love and compassion.
And He never compromised. He was never a Pharisee, and never a Sadducee. He was the true representation of the character of God. The Unchangeable Character Of God Many times we interpret God's character on the basis of what we think or what we've experienced in our own lives.
But here's a little principle to keep in mind: Always interpret circumstances in the light of what you know the unchangeable character of God to be.
Let's take a look at Matthew 9: But go and learn what this means, 'I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
First of all, He called Matthew, a hated tax collector, to be His disciple. Not only did He call him, He went to eat at his house! Think about Jesus, the holiest man who ever graced a human body, eating with tax collectors and notorious sinners. That would be today's equivalent of Jesus sharing a pizza with drug dealers and pimps! But Jesus gained this reputation for being the friend of sinners, and the Bible says they came to eat with Him.
He didn't have to persuade them to come, they just enjoyed being near Him. Today, if you walk out on the streets of any city in this nation and ask non believers what they think about Christians, you'll usually get a response like, "They're self-righteous and legalistic. They stab each other in the back. He couldn't have been, otherwise sinners wouldn't have come near Him! Jesus was every thing the Pharisees claimed to be, yet sinners liked to be around Him.
Do sinners like to be around us? It's easy to be loving at church, but could we sit at the same table with a pimp or a drug dealer? It's a hard call, friends - but Jesus did just that. And the fragrance of Christ overwhelmed the stench of sin.
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Jesus Was Not Threatened By Sinners Jesus absolutely hated sin, but isn't it interesting that He was relaxed in the presence of sinners? This is almost impossible for us to imagine! The "norm" for Christians has too often been to totally with draw from the world for fear of it wearing us down or overwhelming us. We've repeated that behavior over and over again in church history, even to the point where believers have totally withdrawn themselves from the world in order to be free of its stain.
Strangely enough, Jesus Christ who is in you, by the way! Jesus' response to humanity was to show compassion. Everything He did in the Gospels was to exemplify the Father John This is portrayed in John The disciples had a hard time grasping what Jesus was doing when He took off His outer garment which basically meant He stripped down to His underwear! Now you may not be able to sense the intense emotion of this moment but you ought to see the eyes of people when I teach this message in Thailand!
Similarities and Differences The Essenes believed that they were the elect -- the chosen ones who would shepherd in a radical change in Judaism with the help of a messiah and a prophet. They taught that there was virtue in poverty, that it was essential to honor God above worldly riches, that marriage was an unbreakable bond made before God and that divorce was prohibited.
Immortality was accepted as truth by the Essenes but, although they religiously observed the sabbath, they did not participate in worship in the temple, considering the temple and its priests to be lax in spiritual discipline. These ideas are all reflected in the New Testament. But Jesus also taught the doctrine of the resurrection of the body on the day of final judgment and habitually engaged with common people and the priests in the temple in lively debates about his ideas -- both approaches rejected by the Essenes.
The Case for a Connection The gaps in knowledge about Jesus' life leave room for speculation about who he associated with and what dogma could have influenced his thinking. The question of timing keeps that speculation alive.
Tabor, chair of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, points out that some Essenes lived, practiced and taught their faith in Jerusalem and nearby towns, even as the Essene monastic community left its scrolls in the Dead Sea caves. They were Jews who supported the Herodian dynasty. They also joined with the Pharisees to oppose Jesus and attempted to trap Him by asking Him whether it was proper to pay tribute to Caesar Matthew Although there were many theological and political differences among these four groups and they hated each other strongly, they united in a common cause against Jesus.
Similarly, His only encounter with the Herodians was when they were incited by the Pharisees to raise the question about paying taxes to Caesar Matthew There is no mention of the Herodians acting by themselves to oppose Jesus.
But as mentioned above, His most scathing rebuke was reserved for the scribes and Pharisees. Sadducees were the modern-day rationalists who did not see any need of God or the supernatural. Following a humanistic philosophy, they put man in the center of the universe as the master of his own destiny. If anybody needed the convincing proof of God and His revelation, it would have been the Sadducees. Or, Jesus could have picked a fight with the Herodians. Like the present-day civil libertarians, they always argued for the separation of the state and organized religion.
The Relationship Between Jesus & the Essenes | Synonym
Or, like the modern day politicians, they tried to solve all the social and moral problems by the involvement of the government. If anybody needed to be taught that only God can solve the social problems and take care of the need of the human heart, it would have been the Herodians. But Jesus reserved His most scathing rebukes for the Pharisees and the scribes who without doubt were the most religious people of His time.
Like Paul before his conversion, they lived according to the strictest code of the Jewish religious system Acts However, in their close scrutiny of the Law and in their best human efforts to keep the minutest details of the Law, they became blind even to the clearest revelation of the living Word of God.
They were very sincere, but sincerely wrong in the value judgments they made about Jesus. In their confrontation with Jesus, two basic issues were involved: Dispute about His Relation with God the Father The scribes and Pharisees opposed Jesus in relation to His claims of being equal with God, and they objected to every claim that He made about His being equal with the Father: The Pharisees and scribes knew their theology well.
As such, it is one of the greatest Christological discourses in Scripture. Herein Jesus makes 5 claims to equality to God: I and the Father are one. As the Gospel of Mark notes: You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?
Although Jesus Himself never used this title for Himself, the Pharisees and the scribes objected to other people using it for Him. This was another occasion when they picked up stones to stone Him: Again, the scribes and the Pharisees knew their theology well.
They rightly understood that only God, against Whom every sin has been committed, has the right to forgive sins and anyone who claims to have that right, or who tries to exercise that right, makes himself equal with God.Who were the Essenes and Were Jesus and John the Baptist Essenes?
Who can forgive sins, but God alone? As Matthew, Mark, and Luke note: What work do you perform? Like most of us, they wanted to see God in great and miraculous things, so when they saw God in the humble servant, even the great miracles Jesus performed did not matter, and they missed the blessing. And so they committed the unpardonable sin, the sin against the Holy Spirit: Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Sprit shall not be forgiven.
And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the age to come Matthew So, the first of the two basic issues raised by the scribes and the Pharisees in their opposition to Jesus was their denial of the deity of Christ.
Dispute about His Relationship with Man The second of the two most basic issues was about the way Christ related Himself to man. This is where Jesus gave them various parables: All three of the Synoptic Gospels note the incident about Jesus having a feast at the house of Matthew, the tax collector turned disciple, and the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled about that: