Etikettarkiv | pharisees

Jesus used some harsh and rude comments, so we can do this as well?

prov 15

Let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul FROM DEATH and will cover a multitude of sins. (Ja. 5:20)

In the Bible, we can see that Jesus on rare occasions used some harsh words for people opposing him, but just about always in relation to Pharisees – religious leaders who viewed themselves as authoritative teachers who set the rules for salvation, and who generally opposed Jesus greatly up to the point of wanting to kill him. Such dangerous self-professed teachers (and hypocritical sinners) probably deserved to be rebuked by Jesus Christ who is God in flesh. Jesus said about them:

Matt. 23:13 For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. (NKJV)

Dangerous indeed! No wonder why Jesus during a dinner (or two dinners) with Pharisees present, took the chance to explain why they were in deep error and even rebuked them. He made sure to explain why he was against their teachings, by giving examples. If people do not understand why they are being rebuked and given a chance to know exactly how to improve, then a rebuke would be a waste of time. If we truly love people and want them to let go of false teachings, we should also explain where exactly they are in error – just like Jesus.

There are Christians who use such rare occasions (when Jesus used called the Pharisees names) as evidence for that they too can call people derogatory names left and right, as soon as people do not agree with them. The problem is that Christians do not always choose the right occasions the way Jesus did. Just because Jesus a few times described the Pharisees with derogatory names, it is still no free ticket for us to insult people left and right even if they are mistaken about certain doctrines. If the idea is to persuade others about our position, demeaning insults will only push people away, and what will that accomplish?

Jesus did not use derogatory names when he spoke sinners such as the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:9), the woman about to get stoned (John 8:11), the woman who anointed his feet (Luke 7:37-38), etc. They were all sinners, but it is possible to make people understand the danger of their sin through conversations without calling them names. Sometimes Christians who are given the advice to avoid spreading insults, patronizing remarks and derogatory names, misunderstand the advice to mean ”Do not expose false teachings, but rather try to make people feel comfortable in their sin”. That is hardly the same thing. Again, it is possible to expose false teachings and get the message across without spreading insults (which only risk the other person to leave). If the idea is to make people stay and listen, often a more pleasant attitude is more helpful. Once in a while we might meet people who deserve a tougher treatment due to their aggressive ways, but it would be preferable if we made sure to not go down to their level.

Sometimes even sarcasm has a proper place in a conversation, but this too depends on the situation.

1 Kings 18:27 And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” (NKJV)

Which were Jesus rude remarks?

  • About Herod: ”Go ye, and tell that fox” (Luke 13:32)
  • To Pharisees: ”O generation of vipers” (Matt. 12:34)
  • To Pharisees: ”Ye are of your father the devil” (John 8:44)
  • To the scribes and the Pharisees – Matthew’s version: ”—woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!—Ye fools and blind—ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness—within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity—Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers” (Matt. 23:13-33)
  •  To the scribes, Pharisees and lawyers – Luke’s version: ”Ye fools—hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not” (Luke 11:40-46).
  • To Peter (or actually Satan): ”Get thee behind me, Satan” (Matt. 16:23, Mark 8:33, Luke 4:8)

John the Baptiste:

  • To Pharisees and Sadducees: ”O generation of vipers” (Matt 3:7 and Luke 3:7)

Stephen:

  • To Pharisees: ”Ye stiffnecked” (Acts 7:51)

Paul

  • A general agreement about the Cretans: One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true”

If insulting names are used when spoken about large groups of people (like an entire generation or a ”people”), the remarks tend to not appear as strong. Within large groups of people there might be exceptions, but the general remark is still true. Jesus naturally expressed strong words about false prophets and sinners without naming anyone.

  • To all faithless: ”O faithless and perverse generation” (Matt. 17:17).
  • To his disciples: ”O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25).

In another conversation with a Pharisee named Simon, Jesus did no say ”woe to you pharisee” but gently explained   what was wrong with Simon’s views. He corrected him in love without using name callings, but also without compromising with the truth. (Luke 36-47).

Paul on Mars Hill in Athensmars hill

On March Hill, Paul could have rebuked all those people who believed in false gods, but he used a smarter approach. He managed to get their attention without humiliating them, but still explained to them why they were off the mark and what they should do to be right with God. In this way he did not stir up anger and resentment but made people stay and listen. This approach does not mean that Paul compromised with the truth, nor was he watering down the gospel.

Paul did not start out screaming to the idolaters in front of him ”Listen up you filthy sinners! You’re all heretics going to hell, you morons! DO you REALLY believe you will get eternal life when you’re nothing but WICKED, WICKED, WICKED?! LOL LOL LOL! No, you’re going to HELL, do you hear me? You all deserve it!!”, etc. None of that would necessarily be false information, but the point is of course that there are smarter ways to provide the information. Paul started out saying:

Acts 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

What a clever way to steer the speech straight to the gospel of God by making a comparison with those inscriptions! Paul also said ”Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious! From then on he laid out his message with the hope that as many as possible would stay and listen. If he would derogatory terms, I suspect people would get angry, stop listening and shout names back at him. That would be a total waste of time, and they would be busy fighting with each other and with Paul rather than letting him share the gospel. Who would this benefit?

GENTLENESS and MEEK CORRECTIONS IN LOVE

Examples from the Bible.

Matthew 18:15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

2 Tim 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,25IN MEEKNESS instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

2 Thess. 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.15 YET COUNT HIM NOT AS AN ENEMY, but admonish him AS A BROTHER.

Colossians 3:12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear

Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

James 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.—16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.—31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Paul’s patiently discussed with people and persuaded them to believe the true gospel

It is seldom enough to persuade people to give up their false theological views by just 10 minutes worth of conversations. Not even a conversation of one or two hours might be enough, but their resistance might not be due to a rebellion from their part but rather due to having been exposed with twisted ideas for a very long time. They likely feel that they are the ones defending the true gospel from being attacked by someone like you. Instead of losing patience and dishing out insults at this point, it is better to reason with them and provide scripture for the truth.

In other situations it might be better to shake off the dust from our feet and walk away – if the person we are talking with clearly does not want to listen, constantly interrupts, attacks you, etc. We are not supposed to throw pearls to swine if there are other people who are more open for the gospel.

Paul patiently reasoned with people, even if they did not get persuaded after 10 minutes. He could be reasoning for days, as long as he at least had some attention regarding what he was saying.

Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

Acts 17:16Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.  17Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

Acts 19:8And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. 9But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. 10And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

Acts. 20:.29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Acts. 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

Jesus Christ is the chief CORNER-STONE worshiped by angels

hörnstenOur lives should be built on the foundation of Jesus Christ – the chief corner-stone and the ROCK

The son of God decided to be born as man on earth and die for all mankind as God in flesh. For a brief time Jesus was made lower than the angels – the same angels who would later worship him as God according to Heb. 1. We can read in Heb. 2 that Jesus was made ”a little lower than the angels”, and in the previous chapter we can read that he was ”so much better than the angels” and that he ”obtained a much excellent name than they”. This is not a contradiction since Jesus is also fully capable of placing himself in a free will temporary subjection to his own Father, with whom he shared the glory from eternity past (John 17:5).

John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of MYSELF. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Heb. 2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him?Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.9 But we see Jesus, WHO WAS MADE A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Heb. 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:4 Being made SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE ANGELS, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Phil. 2:Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus is the most important stone in the building

The Old Testament contains numerous prophesies about the Messiah – Jesus Christ. He is also called the chief corner-stone, and that is a stone which is considered to be the most important part of a stone building since it is carrying the weight of the stones built on top of it while there are no stones UNDER it. Since Jesus Christ is the foundation of our salvation, it is important that we spread this information to the rest of the world to encourage people to seek the true Savior and thus be saved. People might be convinced of that they are on the right path to eternal salvation, but if they are not choosing to build their lives on the corner-stone, they are still off track. It is vital to identify this corner-stone. God does not share his glory with anyone, but shares it with Jesus. This means that Jesus must be God.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Is. 48:11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

Jesus Christ came from the tribe of Judah. Corner-stone below is a translation from the Hebrew word eben (Strong’s 68)

Isa. 28:2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.—16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

Zechariah 10:2 For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.3 Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the Lord of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle.4 Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together

Unfortunately people are refusing to accept this head stone of the corner despite that it is the most important building block! We can see this statement in Ps. 118:20, and we can also read about the gate of the Lord and ”Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord”,  which is quoted in Matt. 21 – when Jesus entered Jerusalem and people were cheering their Hosianna.

Ps. 118:15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.”—20 This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter.21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.27 God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

Jesus confirms that he is the stone that the scriptures speak about (read the above psalm) and whosoever falls on it shall be broken.

Matthew 21:8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.—42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone (lithos, Strong’s 3037) shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

Luke 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Luke 19:38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

Luke 20:17 And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

Jesus Christ is the stone, the head of the corner-stone…There is no salvation in anyone else.

Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.11 This is the stone (lithos, Strong’s 3037) which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

”Chief corner-stone” in the New Testament is a translation from the Greek word akrogōniaios (Strong’s 204) and this word can be found in Eph. 2:20 and 1 Pet 2:6.

Eph. 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Peter urges us to believe in this chief corner-stone from Sion, because there is salvation in no one else. If the corner-stone of the Old Testament is about our Lord God, then the same applies for the New Testament. Jesus Christ is our Lord, God in flesh. Jesus has become the rock of offence to many people who refuse to accept his deity, much like the pharisees who wanted to kill Jesus because ”thou, being a man, makest thyself God” (John 10:33)

1 Peter 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,8 And a stone (lithos, Strong’s 3037) of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Again, Peter above is quoting these scriptures:

Isa. 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

You can also read about Jesus Christ being the ROCK in this article.

Abraham showed his faith by obedience and was therefore righteous

(An excerpt from Jesse Morell’s upcoming book, ”The Vicarious Atonement of Christ.”

abrahamThere was a problem in Israel of thinking that righteousness consisted in external works of the law, which notion Paul needed to confront. There were Israelites who thought that they were righteous before God as long as they obeyed the Torah, even while sinning in their hearts. Jesus said our righteousness needed to exceed that of the Pharisees who obeyed the outward requirements of the Torah but were sinful inwardly. In context Jesus expounded upon the sins of the heart and not mere outward action, in regards to our righteousness exceeding that of the Pharisees.

Paul argued for a circumcision of the heart by faith in order to be righteous. Paul argued that Abraham was righteous and justified before the Torah was given through Moses, so that the external works of the law that the Torah demanded cannot possibly be what true righteousness consisted of. It could not be the means through which we are made righteous or justified in character. Paul argued that by faith in God Abraham was righteous and consequently justified, and so that is how Gentile believers are made righteous and are justified too.

In his heart Abraham trusted God so that in his life Abraham obeyed God. Faith of the heart was the seed to real obedience of life, so God imputed (reckoned or considered) Abraham’s faith as righteousness, as that was what it really was. A heart of faith is a righteous heart. Faith, which results in obedience, is what real righteousness is. Righteousness is not merely being circumcised or keeping the dietary requirements of the Torah. It is what comes out of the mouth that defiles a man, not what goes into it. It is not by obeying the external requirements of the Torah and having outward works, even with selfish motives to be praised by men, which makes a man righteous before God.Real righteousness is not a work of the law at all, but is faith in God.

However, there is a problem in the church today just like there was in Israel. That is a problem of thinking that righteousness consists in works of the law or obedience to the Torah. Like the Pharisees who thought that they were righteous on a technicality, by observing the outward requirements of the Torah while still sinning in their hearts, the Theologians of today are teaching that you can be righteous before God on the same technicality as well. They teach that Christ obeyed the Torah or the law for us on our behalf as our substitute, so that His works of the law are imputed to us. In light of Christ’s works of the Torah being imputed to our account, they say, we are made righteous in the eyes of God and are consequently justified even though we are still sinful in heart and character. This is identical to the problem Paul had to confront when he argued that we are not righteous or justified by the works of the law but by a faith in Christ that purifies the heart. Paul was confronting this Pharisaical notion of being technically righteous before God by outward obedience to the Torah while still sinning inwardly in your heart.

The Pharisees and reformed theologians are both wrong in assuming that righteousness does not consist in works of the law, either performed by the individual or performed by a substitute on their behalf and imputed to them. There is no righteousness by works while still sinning in heart. It is a faith in Christ, a trusting of the heart that results in obedience of life, that is real righteousness in the eyes of God. When a man is sinning in his heart, he is not trusting God in his heart. But when a man is trusting God in his heart, he will not be sinning in his heart or life, and so God will impute or consider his faith as righteousness. It is by faith that our heart is purified so it is by faith that we are made righteousness.