Pastor's Previous Sunday Sermon
May 24, 2020
The people who were testing Jesus
The Pharisees, the teachers of the law, and the Sadducees.
Who were these people to question Jesus? They were religious sects during the time of Christ. The honored Moses and the law, they had some political pull and power.
The Sanhedrin were the court of Jesus's time, they insisted on a literal interpretation of the Bible. But only the first five books, they did not believe in the prophets.
The Pharisees take oral history and the Bible into consideration.
The Sadducees denied any sort of afterlife, whereas the Pharisees believed in an afterlife.
The Sadducees controlled the main temple and the Pharisees controlled the synagogue.
The Sadducees were more interested in Roman rule and law, whereas the Pharisees wanted a self governed society. So it seems there were 2 major political parties, with different views. Seem familiar?
But Jesus was viewed as a threat by both parties.
Why it is important that we understand other peoples faith. Paul used his knowledge of the differences between the Sadducees and Pharisees to continue his mission to spread the gospel. When we look at the full council of God, we are offered hope. Maybe not here on earth, but definitely in the promise of eternal life in heaven.
That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”
29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.
Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” 2 At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”
4 Those who were standing near Paul said, “How dare you insult God’s high priest!”
5 Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’”
6 Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” 7 When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.)
9 There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. “We find nothing wrong with this man,” they said. “What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10 The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.
11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”