The Thiepharisees- John 10

On the last post we considered the blind man who was healed by Jesus and who was thrown out by the Pharisees.  The same story goes on in chapter 10 as Jesus continues his response to the Pharisees who were with Him.

And I don’t think that before now I had ever considered the fact that chapter 10 was doing just that, continuing Jesus’ response to the Pharisees.  So a new thought came to mind as I read today, specifically I thought about who Jesus was talking to (and why He was talking to them) when He said in verse 10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…”

(An interesting note here, the word kill in verse 10 is specifically used of sacrifice.  It is not the common word for killing)

The Pharisees were angry with Jesus because He healed this blind man on the Sabbath.  The great keepers of the Law, as John pointed out earlier in this book, thought that by Scripture they possessed eternal life.  They built their empire of the Law and Jesus was a threat.  Not because He transgressed the Law, but because He transgressed their “law”.

Jesus wasn’t concerned with serving their misconceptions and lies.  He was concerned with saving people, and He knew that the Law kills.  It’s a righteous law, and that is exactly why it kills.  It kills rightfully.  People deserve eternal condemnation for sin… every one of us, who have turned away from God.  And there’s nothing we can do about it.

These Pharisees though, they thought they found life in the Law, and they were going to do whatever it took to slay their own people with this “life”.  And with that misuse of the Law, which claims to impart life to the sinner instead of death, they were able to do only three things… steal men’s hearts from God, sacrifice the people, and destroy them.

Lately brother Hugh Barton has been doing studies on Wednesdays that contrast the Law of the Letter with the Law of Grace.  He’s been pointing out the biblical truth that there is indeed life, but it is not found in the Law.

We, every person, need to remember that the Law holds no promise for us as sinners.  It is good, and serves as a tutor to show us our need for forgiveness and our need for righteousness.  But it cannot impart those things upon the transgressor, nor does it ever claim to.  We can never be good enough.

Do not believe the lie.  A man cannot work his way to heaven.  Salvation by works was the lie that the Pharisees pushed, but God called them thieves for it.  “Salvation by works” is a lie that ONLY steals, sacrifices and destroys…

Don’t believe the lie…

But know that there is hope…

There is a Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for His sheep…

There is Christ!

Trust the Light (John 8)

Jesus had silenced the blood lusting Scribes and Pharisees who brought an adulteress to Him.  He showed them their own guilt, and used mercy to do it.  Every guilty person there was shown mercy by Him.

We continue the story, starting in John 8:12:

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

The Pharisees challenged Him on this, saying that Jesus’ testimony was invalid because He was testifying about Himself.  But Jesus Himself had been teaching the principle of valid testimony.  He declared to them that one needs a testimony beyond his own.

The Pharisees were so desperate to trap the Son of God that they made fools of themselves in their efforts.  Unfortunately this still happens even in our day.

People want to discredit God.  They want us to disregard the Bible.  But they make major errors in their efforts (not surprising, since their goal is itself a major error).  One of these errors is to say that the Bible isn’t true because it uses a form of circular reasoning in declaring itself to be true.

But one only needs to look a little deeper to find out the truth of the matter.  From early on the honest Bible reader comes to realize a few things.  They realize that the things the Bible does are things no other book has ever done.  The way it brings good life to people.  The way it harmonizes with itself even though it was written by many men, in many countries, in various languages, over thousands of years… perfect harmony!  It speaks in a way that no other book has ever spoken.  And it gives more information than any man, or even mankind as a whole, will ever be able to completely understand.

The reader will also find that external evidence only grows in its support of the Bible as time goes on.  New discoveries continue to be made that uphold the historical truths of the Scriptures.  The truths in our world and the people in the world are constantly proving God’s word to be indeed from God.  Recorded history supports the life of Christ more than some of the most beloved and indisputably historical people we know of.  History also proves the text of the Bible to be more reliable and authentic than any other work of its kind; the extent of this is so incredible that one has to laugh when they see the figures.

It’s a fool’s game they play today.  It didn’t work out for the Pharisees, and it won’t work for people today.  Every man is confronted with the truth of Christ, and His validity is greater than anything they already trust in.  Whether one chooses to accept or ignore that fact, well that’s up to them.  But we will all give an account one day, and at that point it will no longer be possible to ignore the truth.

Christ told the Pharisees that they would know the truth once He was lifted up.  And we see that it happened too, from their bribing the Roman guards to keep quite about what had happened.  It was so completely obvious that Christ was who He said He was.  It’s still obvious.

All men are capable of ignoring or not caring about the obvious reality that engulfs them.  But men don’t have to be fools if they choose to walk in the light that Jesus gives.

And only He has the words of life!

The Director (John 8)

The Setup

John 8 begins with the story of the woman caught in adultery.  To better understand the situation, one should note what had happened the day before.  It was the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Temple Guards had returned to the Pharisees.  Contrary to their orders, they did not have Jesus with them.

The Pharisees lashed out at the guards.  Then Nicodemus questioned their methods, saying that the Law requires them to hear Jesus’ side.  The Pharisees then lashed out at Nicodemus as well.

The Plot

Now come back to the next day.  The Pharisees have been brewing in their anger all night.  They’ve been plotting. 

Jesus is teaching again in the Temple courts… their temple, as far as they are concerned.  And when they come to Jesus, they bring a woman that they just happened to catch in adultery that day.  They didn’t bring the man, mind you.  Just the woman.

And they throw this woman before Him like a dog.  They make her stand there in front of all these people that Jesus was teaching.  They’re trying to prove something to Jesus’ audience, and trying to find a reason to accuse Him.  They want the people to stop following Jesus.  And they want Jesus dead.

They pose their question to Jesus.  What they wanted was for Jesus to say “Yes, the Law says to kill her so kill her.”  If He did then in their minds not only would it look like His message of mercy was tainted, but it would also give them Jesus’ own approval to kill in the name of the Law.  And they wanted to accuse Jesus of blasphemy, so they could kill Him.

Remember that the people were excitable.  It wasn’t exactly safe for the Pharisees to brave the crowds for the sake of killing Christ.  In the interest of self preservation, they needed the people on their side.

The Real Powerplay

It’s easy to look at this situation as just a convenient trap.  But this was a very deliberate and hate filled plot.  This was an attempt to catch Jesus in just the right place, at just the right time.

Proverbs 16:9 says:

 “A man’s mind plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. “

This confrontation was to be no exception.  These men planned and plotted death for Jesus, and were willing to kill this woman to do it.  But Jesus came to bring life.  With a wisdom far beyond their own, Jesus turns the tables.

He didn’t use a show of force.  He didn’t use a miracle.  He simply spoke.  And with His words, Christ spoke of the same message that they were trying to quiet.  A message of love, truth and mercy.

Not only did he speak His message of mercy, but He compelled the blood lusting Pharisees to follow it.  The Lord directed their steps. 

The Mistake

If only they knew the Law…