Note:  Sequence of Outline Taken From A Harmony Of The Gospels by Thomas and Lundry

  1. 28 - warning that the Pharisees would be scoffers
  2. Matthew 3:7-12 - John the B let it rip against the P’s.
  1. Rebuke and warning
  2. That’s what they needed to hear
  3. He did not worry about the consequences (look at his appearance)
  4. He had standing - due to his unique platform - that would be hard for the P’s to assail
  1. Matthew 5:20 - warned others that they needed to exceed the “righteousness” of the scribes and Pharisees
  2. Matthew 6:6-18 - specific examples of 5:20
  1. When you pray, give, fast, do not be like the hypocrites
  2. At end of Matthew 6, told them how to deal with their fears regarding their needs
  1. Possibly in contrast to the P’s
  1. Matthew 7 - further related instruction -
  1. don’t judge others
  2. ask God for your needs
  3. treat others the way you would like to be treated (maybe a special golden rule for N’s)
  4. Beware false prophets
  5. Those that say “Lord, Lord” are not necessarily in the Kingdom of God
  1. I never knew you, depart from men of LAWLESSNESS
  1. If you hear His words (in N context) and act on them, even though rains and floods will come your house will stand
  1. Matthew 8:11-12 - sons of Kingdom will be cast into “outer” darkness - weeping and gnashing of teeth
  2. Matthew 9:1-8 - Jesus healing the paralytic
  1. When the S’s said that Jesus blasphemes, J said “why do you think evil in your hearts?”
  1. In what way was the S’s statement evil?
  1. Matthew 9:9-13 - Eating At Matthew (newly ex-tax-collector’s) House
  1. Jesus was associating with a new disciple and his friends (a good outreach and example)
  2. Pharisees judged Jesus for eating with those people
  3. Jesus responded with 2 statements
  1. Not the healthy who need a physician, but the sick
  2. Go and learn what it means (OT quote) - “I DESIRE COMPASSION AND NOT SACRIFICE”
  3. Comments
  1. Explained what He was doing (Not healthy, but sick)
  2. Did not directly rebuke or condemn the P’s
  3. Pointed them to a scripture at the heart of their issue
  1. Grace and Love for others vs prideful works-based religion
  1. By saying “go and learn”, He implied that they did not know that
  1. A soft-rebuke or admonition.  Would they have caught the rebuke part?  Maybe not
  1. Matthew 9:14-17 - John’s disciples’ question about fasting - contrast between P’s and John’s disciples vs Jesus’ disciples
  1. A sincere question
  2. John’s disciples did not understand the difference between their sincerity and the P’s hypocrisy - outwardly it looked the same - fasting for different motives
  3. Jesus did not take the opportunity to point that out - instead he took the opportunity to point out the larger truth about new wineskins - that truth would be more important at this time vs. knowing the P’s hypocrisy
  1. John 5:1-47 - Healing of man lame for 38 years who was by the pool
  1. V 1-9 - Jesus healed the man, it was on a Sabbath
  2. V10 - “The Jews” told the man it was not permissible for him to carry his pallet on the Sabbath
  1. The scoffers were the nitpicking judges of everyone
  1. V11 - The man defended himself to the Jews by explaining that Jesus (the one who healed me = He has some kind of authority) told me to do it
  2. V12-15 - The Jews asked the man who healed him (they now had a potentially bigger issue on their hands)
  1. The man didn’t know at first, because Jesus had left
  2. Jesus came back to challenge the man to not sin
  3. The man was then able to ID Jesus to the Jews
  1. V16 - The Jews were persecuting Jesus because He was doing these things (practical ministry) on the Sabbath
  1. It does not say that the fact He was healing was an issue at this point)
  2. It does not say that how specifically they were persecuting Him, but it was somehow direct because Jesus specifically responded to them
  1. V17 - Jesus’ response - 17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”
  1. Matthew 9:32-34 - Jesus healed mute, demon-possessed man.  P’s said that Jesus did it through the power of Satan.
  1. WOW
  2. Jesus took a right action to help someone in deep need
  3. Pharisees
  1. Were jealous
  2. Determined not to give Jesus credit - would exalt Him over them
  3. Wanted to discount Jesus in the eyes of the people
  4. Could not deny the power of what happened
  5. Only solution to the above was to attribute the power to Satan, not God
  1. Jesus
  1. Did not respond
  1. The action and results spoke for themselves
  1. “Wisdom is vindicated by her deeds”
  1. Trusted God to defend Him
  2. Did not see a purpose in rebuking the P’s at that time
  1. Matthew 10 - Jesus’ warning about men, and how the disciples should respond - Somewhat refers to P’s, but goes beyond that
  1. Beware of men
  2. They will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in the synagogues
  3. Whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next (as a witness)
  4. They persecuted Me first
  5. Do not fear them, their deeds will become known
  6. Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul
  7. Whoever denies Me before men, I will deny him before My father
  8. Plus much more
  1. Matthew 12:1-8 - Jesus and Disciples picked grain to eat while walking through a grainfield on the Sabbath
  1. There is a question about the propriety of doing that (someone else’s grain), but
  2. The Pharisees criticized them for doing it on the Sabbath
  1. Judgmental - doing what is “not lawful” on the Sabbath
  2. Jesus did not do things “their way”, and the P held their way up as being the law
  1. Jesus’ response
  1. 2 points of instruction (Jesus’ interpretation of these two things could use some examination)
  1. David’s example
  2. The priests example
  1. A hint of something bigger
  2. A 2nd admonition to P’s to switch from prideful law to loving grace
  1. First admonition said “Go and learn”
  2. This 2nd one was a little more aggressive and challenged the P’s on their condemnation - “If you had known”, “you would not have condemned the innocent”
  1. Matthew 12:9-21 - Jesus healed a man with a withered hand in the synagogue on a Sabbath
  1. Jesus went to the synagogue on a Sabbath, man there with a withered hand
  2. The P’s were seeking a chance to accuse Jesus
  1. Seemed like they were throwing something against the wall to see if it would stick
  1. “It’s a Sabbath, here’s a need (man with withered hand)”
  2. They did not know if He was able to heal
  3. So they asked asked a theoretical question, with a few ways for Him to be trapped, via
  1. His claims to be a healer AND/OR
  2. His views on healing AND/OR
  3. Something that might violate the Sabbath
  1. Jesus’ response
  1. He answered their question
  2. Started with a case which they all did (“what man is there among you”) - He called their bluff, grouping them with “the violators”
  3. Made a point that people are more important than sheep - which made His case more violatable than theirs.  So if they violated for a sheep, it was even more appropriate / reasonable to violate for a man
  4. Then He gave the punchline - “So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” -
  1. Doing good was more important than their rules (it was not God’s rules (I desire compassion, not sacrifice) that they were discussing, but their rules)
  1. Jesus followed the principle with action
  1. He violated their rules
  2. He did good
  3. He healed
  1. Pharisees’ response
  1. Response
  1. Went out
  2. Conspired = talked among themselves
  3. Worked on a plan to destroy Him
  1. Ie - He is challenging us, so we have to take Him down
  1. Why did they respond this way?
  1. He outwitted them
  1. Put them in a box
  2. Implicitly showed their hypocrisy
  1. They would take care of their own animal, but would not take care of a person
  1. He challenged them - rather than kowtowing to them, He stood up to them
  2. He showed power they didn’t have by healing
  3. He healed without their permission, on their turf
  1. Jesus’ response
  1. He was aware that they were conspiring to take Him out
  2. He withdrew - avoided them - did not go for a heads up power play
  3. Focused on His broader purpose
  1. People followed Him and He healed them
  1. Matthew 12:22-37 - Jesus healed a blind and mute demon-possessed man
  1. This was one of the people brought to Him after He withdrew from the previous encounter
  2. Jesus healed the guy - there was immediate external evidence because the man immediately heard and saw - WOW
  3. The crowd’s response - maybe Jesus is the “son of David” (Messiah?)
  4. The P’s “heard”
  1. The man  about it (implies distance), but Jesus knew their thoughts and “said to them” (implies proximity)
  2. What they heard
  1. The man speaking
  2. The crowd’s response
  1. The P’s response
  1. The crowd was elevating their view of Jesus
  2. The P’s repeated their position (is 12:24) first stated in 9:34) - Jesus’ power to cast out demons came from Satan
  1. There was clear power, so they couldn’t deny that
  2. They could not accept that it might come from God, because if it did
  1. It would place Jesus as higher than them - in a power culture, the one with the most power rules
  1. The only other logical choice was to assume that the power came from Satan
  1. This would Jesus something to resist rather than exalt
  1. Satan would have loved their response, because it would give him the glory instead of Jesus - on several levels the P’s were acting as agents of satan.
  1. Undermining Jesus
  2. Exalting himself
  1. Jesus’ response
  1. He knew their thoughts (it does not say that He heard what they said)
  1. His God-side? plus
  2. Human knowledge of how these guys operate
  1. For God’s glory on behalf of the people and the P’s, Jesus could not let this one slide
  1. For people to be drawn to God as a result of His love and power shown through Jesus’ miracles, it had to be clear that this came from God, not Satan (it’s like NK taking credit for US humanitarian stuff)
  2. As this was the second time the P’s brought this up, Jesus needed to kill it
  3. There were some broader spiritual truths to be revealed, and this gave Jesus the opportunity to reveal them
  1. Jesus’ response
  1. V 25-26 - It’s not logical.  Satan can’t fight himself or his kingdom will fall
  2. V 27 - a puzzle
  3. V 28 - ?
  4. V 29
  5. V 30 - You need to pick sides
  6. V 31-32 - You P’s can speak against Me (the earthly incarnation), but you dare not speak against the Holy Spirit (direct from Heaven)
  7. V 33 - Set up principle - a tree is known by its fruit
  8. V 34-37 - Direct attack on P’s
  1. Brood of vipers (same as words which John used)
  2. You’re evil - how can your words (fruit) be good
  3. BECAUSE - what you say reflects what’s in your heart
  1. Note1:  Jesus’ progression of response
  1. It’s not logical
  2. You can speak against Me but not the Holy Spirit
  3. But, getting to the heart of the matter, the evil that you are saying reflects the evil in your heart, because
  4. The mouth speaks what’s in the heart - good people come out with good things, evil people come out with evil things
  5. And, by the way, even if on Judgment Day you say “I made a mistake by saying it flippantly”, you will still be held accountable for what you said
  1. Matthew 15:1-20 - P challenging Jesus on breaking the tradition of the elders
  1. Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem (to Galilee)
  1. Implied they were seeking out the encounter
  2. They had previously (where?) talked to each other about how to do Him in
  1. They had already failed at
  1. Damaging his reputation when He ate with sinners
  2. Linking His demon-casting power to Satan
  3. Stopping His popularity with the masses
  1. Next step was to undermine Him for not keeping (their) law
  1. 2 “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
  1. Sounds like a sincere question, but not really a sincere question - ie they did not really want an answer
  2. Three motives
  1. Natural scoffers using violation of their law as their point of judgment
  2. Cast Him as a violator of religious norms, which would undercut His standing and therefore power derived from the people
  1. Question - did their undermining contribute to the final mass rejection in front of Pilate?
  1. Possible entrapment into saying something incriminating
  1. Jesus’ response #1 - “why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?”
  1. He did not defend Himself against their accusation
  2. He went on the offensive - turned the tables
  3. It was a rebuke and a question?
  1. You transgress the commandment of God
  2. Why?
  1. He did not seek out to give the rebuke, but did rebuke in response to their accusation (?)
  2. He was trying to make them see the error of their ways (and to call them to account?)
  1. Pride and greed
  1. Man’s tradition vs. God - and they were the keepers of the tradition
  2. The tradition provided them with loopholes to satisfy their greed - they could get what they wanted rather than doing justly, showing mercy, and walking humbly with God (Micah)
  1. Jesus response #2 - “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah say of you….)
  1. Drove deeper - this was definitely a reproof
  1. You honor Me with your lips, but your heart is far away
  2. Your “worship” is in vain - ie - disregarded, because it is not true worship
  3. You teach as doctrines the precepts of men
  1. You don’t know God’s way
  2. You exalt man’s (your) way
  1. Jesus Next Step - called the crowds to make a point - It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man”
  1. Jesus did not make a side comment attacking the Pharisees, or warning about the Pharisees
  2. He gave the principle underlying the Pharisees’ error -
  1. Entering in the mouth does not defile - which was the basis of the Pharisees’ doctrine, rules, and power
  2. Proceeding out of the mouth does defile - it’s all about the heart, which the Pharisees did not get right
  1. If the crowds thought deeply about His point, and looked at their own hearts, and looked at the Pharisees’ actions - they would see for themselves that the Pharisees had it wrong
  2. Jesus was presenting truth (wisely stated) as a standard - by which they could then
  1. Judge their own hearts
  2. Judge the Pharisees’ hearts and actions
  3. (as opposed to making the Pharisees the focal point)
  1. Rather than focusing on those who were in opposition, Jesus used the opportunity to advance his “truth agenda”
  1. Jesus’ next step - explaining the incident further to the disciples
  1. The disciples came to Him, not Him to them - He had dropped it, they continued the conversation
  2. “Are You aware (do You know?) that the Pharisees were offended at this statement?” Which statement?  (I don’t know)
  1. You hypocrites?  (directed to them) OR
  2. What proceeds out of the mouth?  (directed to the crowds)
  3. One statement was a direct attack, one was indirect (to the crowds, inferred violation)
  1. Jesus’ response to the disciples
  1. Did not answer their question as to whether He knew if the Pharisees were offended
  2. Used their question to further advance His truth agenda
  1. “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.”
  1. Spoke in a metaphor
  2. Multiple layers of meaning?
  1. What is in the P’s heart is not of God
  2. At some point it will be dealt with
  3. A predestination inference that God plants good plants in selected hearts …..?
  1. But, He did not further explain the parable He had given to the Pharisees
  1. Only then did Jesus give the disciples a warning and instructions on how to deal with the P’s (vs. 13-14)
  1. Leave them alone (God will deal with them - they will some day be uprooted)
  2. They are blind
  3. They are trying to be guides to others
  4. Those who follow them are also blind
  5. In this situation (blind leading the blind), they will both fall into the pit
  1. Means that the end of both the P’s and those who follow will be destruction
  1. References
  1. Jesus called P’s “blind guides” several times in Matthew 23
  2. Luke 6:39 - blind leading the blind as a parable
  3. John 9:41 - “if you were blind you would have no sin, but since you say “we see”, your sin remains
  1. BIG IMPLICATION FOR THOSE WHO FOLLOW P’s (and by extension N’s)
  1. M15:15-20 - Peter came and asked Jesus to explain the parable He had given to the Pharisees
  1. Implies that maybe the P’s were offended by the “you hypocrites” instead of the parable
  2. Jesus gives Peter a slight rebuke “don’t you understand”?
  3. Jesus then explains the parable He gave to the Pharisees
  1. Matthew 16 - Pharisees Asked Him For A Sign From Heaven, As A Test
  1. Jesus had gone to Magadan - the Pharisees seemed to be following Him around
  1. To gauge their risk from Him
  2. Out of jealousy while watching to see what He would do next
  3. To find a way to get Him off the scene, and eliminate His challenge to them
  1. The P’s tested Jesus with a request to show them a sign from Heaven
  1. Why is this a test?
  1. A shot in the dark?
  2. To see what He says?
  3. To see what He does?
  4. To see if He somehow implicates Himself in “blaspheming” (in their view) God through what He says and does?
  5. To see if He actually can exert power at will?  And if so, whether the power is of God or satan?
  1. This was just after a bunch of healings, etc, and after feeding the 5,000
  2. So, maybe the test is to get a better idea of what they were dealing with?
  3. OR, to come up with some angle that they could use with the people who were glorifying God because of Jesus’ miracles in Matthew 15
  1. Jesus’ response
  1. Did not take the bait - if He was proud, He would have said “look at Me”, and show off, but He didn’t
  2. Used an analogy of a skill they used in every day life (they can read the skies)
  3. Link
  4. “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign” - (“you do the math”)
  1. Jesus held up a clear mirror of truth
  2. An implied, inferred, implicit, indirect rebuke?
  3. One with insolent pride might have responded with
  1. Doesn’t apply to me
  2. You misunderstood what I said
  1. “No sign except the sign of Jonah”
  1. He gave a way forward for any of the P’s who may have had a heart to seek Him
  1. They would think deeply about Jonah
  2. When the resurrection happened, they would see it as the sign from that Jesus was from God
  1. So, even with the rebuke, He did not completely cut them off, but was sharing a path to God for those of the P’s who would listen
  1. He went away - answered them and walked off
  1. Did not wait for their response
  2. Terminated that the engagement
  1. Matthew 16:5-12 - “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees”
  1. Privately warned the disciples (the 12, or more?)
  2. This was after the previous encounter
  3. A general blanket warning to the disciples about the P’s
  4. “Beware of their teaching” and how it can insidiously permeate and affect every part of your life
  5. Jesus did not give them specifics, but to be on the look out
  1. Matthew 16:21-23
  1. 21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
  2. Told the disciples of His future suffering at the hands of the elders, chief priests and scribes
  3. Came after His asking them “who do you think I am?”
  4. “I will suffer many things at the hands of the narcissists, and be killed” (but don’t fear, I will overcome through God”        
  1. Matthew 19:1-9 - Pharisees tested Him with a question on divorce
  1. Context - In Galilee, large crowds, healing
  2. 3 Some Pharisees came to [b]Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to [c]divorce his wife for any reason at all?”
  1. Why a test?
  1. Continuing to look for ways to undermining
  1. How was this a test?
  1. Open ended question
  2. Controversial subject of the day
  1. How did this reveal a little what was in their heart
  1. Maybe looking for loopholes, and if someone like Jesus gave them one they could use it in their own personal justification to those who revered Jesus
  1. Jesus’ response
  1. Have you not read…..?
  1. A subtle poke
  2. Referred back to the Scripture as the authority
  1. He who created them made them male and female…...
  1. God is the Creator - the ultimate authority and source
  2. God created the two sexes and therefore
  1. How they were wired, etc
  2. The generational sequence - leave father and mother
  3. Upon joining - the two becoming one flesh        
  1. Therefore,
  1. If God in His Sovereignty as Creator (see above) joined them together - which He has - no mere man has the right to separate
  1. (Note:  Joining in marriage is like inertia welding
  2. Joining in consummated marriage is a very powerful thing in God’s eyes
  1. Explains why divorce is one of the most gut-wrenching things, along with murder
  1. (In marriage counseling - a good idea to follow Jesus’ example)
  1. Pharisees’ response - “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
  1. Looking for a loophole to Jesus’ high standard
  2. Question implies they were looking for Jesus to confirm their lower standard
  3. (Check out - did Moses really “command” it, or was it an “accomodation instruction”?)  - if Moses did not really command it, the Pharisees were exaggerating the statement (twisting the truth = lying) to win the argument.  Jesus had drawn a line that they did not agree with, and they were twisting things to win the point.
  4. If so, the sequence was 1.  P’s test Jesus, 2.  Jesus responds with firm truth, 3.  The line in the sand of truth put the P’s on the defensive, 4.  P’s went from offensive (testing Jesus) to defensive (defending themselves against Jesus’ statement of truth).  Jesus did not defend Himself, but through clear simple statement of truth flipped the entire conversation from (on His side) defensive to offensive
  1. How to do this in real life?
  1. Jesus’ response - “8 He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to [d]divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 And I say to you, whoever [e]divorces his wife, except for [f]immorality, and marries another woman [g]commits adultery[h].”
  1. YOUR hardness of heart
  2. Moses did not command, but permitted
  3. God’s original design is not changed by your evil intent (from the beginning it was not this way)
  4. And as the result of God’s original design being immutable, any violation of it is adultery
  1. Jesus was underscoring the original statement of truth with the Biblical label on the violation of that truth
  1. NOTE:  People focus this verse on the exception clause - rather than on Jesus’ original statement of the core truth - the very fact they focus on the exception clause indicates a hardness of heart the same as the P’s - a focus on the loopholes instead of God’s high original intent
  1. Matthew 20:17-19 - Jesus warned the disciples about the what the N’s (P’s) were going to do to Him
  1. 17 As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them, 18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be [l]delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.”
  2. Preparing them, out of love, and building their faith
  1. Matthew 21:14-17 - After Triumphal entry, riving out the money-changers, and healings in the temple, children were shouting Hosanna to the Son of David, and the Pharisees became indignant
  1. 14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus *said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself’?”
  2. Chief priests and scribes
  1. Saw the wonderful things that He had done
  2. Saw the children shouting in the temple (their turf)
  3. Heard what the children were shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David”
  4. They became indignant
  1. http://biblehub.com/greek/23.htm
  2. Angry, incensed
  3. Indignant is too soft a word - more like irate
  1. Why angry and incensed?
  1. Jealous at what He was doing
  2. Jealous at the children’s response - their unrestrained response reflected what was in the hearts of older, more restrained people
  3. It was on their turf
  1. Their response to Him - “Do you hear what these children are saying?”
  1. Not sure what they are trying to accomplish  MORE
  1. Their gut emotional reaction?
  2. Of course Jesus heard
  1. Like asking Him “why are you letting these children say these things”
  1. Blaming Him for their displeasure - somehow it is His fault
  2. An emotional gut reaction to their displeasure
  1. Jesus’ response
  1. What He said - And Jesus *said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself’?”
  1. He pointed back to Scripture which prophesied about Himself
  2. The P’s likely would not have understood
  3. A non-answer answer? (to the P’s), but a demonstration to future believers of how the OT spoke of Him
  4. A fulfillment of OT prophecy
  1. He left them - He did not engage in their self-wallowing pity, did not try to “encourage” them
  1. Matthew 21:23-22:46 - An extended, multi-phase encounter with Pharisees - things are heating up
  1. Part 1 - Matthew 21:23-46 Jesus entered the temple and was teaching
  1. Pharisees direct challenge of Jesus’ standing and authority -
  1. the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?”
  2. Effectively saying “who gave you the right?” OR “you have no right to……”
  1. Trying to suppress their opposition through a verbal-based exercise of their will - “you can’t do this” - peer, verbal “power play”
  1. Jesus’ response - very “sophisticated”
  1. 24 Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one [d]thing, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?
  1. Sophisticated response
  2. Did not do a tit for tat or a direct power play
  1. “I do so have the right” OR
  2. “What right do you have to ask Me that question”
  1. Put them in a logical box (of their own making) through their answer to His question
  2. Laid a logical foundation for His response, if He had to give one
  3. Set it up so He would only answer on one condition
  1. The fact that He set the condition made it so that He was not subservient to them and their demand
  1. Ie - I don’t have to answer you just because you demand it
  2. But I will answer it if you meet My condition
  3. It put Him in control of the conversation, not them
  4. This might have contributed to their ultimate response in Matthew 22:15 - “15 Then the Pharisees went and [g]plotted together how they might trap Him [h]in what He said.”
  1. It upped the power play
  2. Jesus was not going for a power play per se, but was not going to submit Himself to their control
  1. Pharisees’ response
  1. And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the [e]people; for they all regard John as a prophet.”
  1. Their reasoning underscores that their original question was a calculated move
  2. Their phrase “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?” indicates that they had
  1. Heard the message from John
  2. Had chosen to ignore, irrespective of whether they thought it was from God or not
  1. Their fear of the people was not a physical fear, but a fear of running counter to popular public opinion, which would put them in a bad light and damage their standing with the people - who were the source of their desired exaltation
  1. “We don’t know” - the only way they could see out the dilema which Jesus put them in - it was the path of least “damage” to their reputation
  1. They coldly calculated the path of least damage to their rep, and chose it
  1. Rather than focusing on “what was the right thing to do”
  2. They were reputation driven (honor/shame) rather than right/wrong driven
  1. Jesus’ response
  1. “Neither will I tell you by what authority….”
  1. Jesus followed it through, did what He had originally said, did not let them off the hook
  1. Followed their question with one of His own
  1. “What do you think…..”?
  1. They asked Him one, so He had the right
  2. Was causing them to consider their
  1. A man had two [f]sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘[g]Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?”
  2. Jesus asked a question to which the answer was obvious
  1. Pharisees’ response - They *said, “The first.”
  1. Like David with Nathan’s story about the lamb, they could see the right answer when it was a situation which did not pertain to them
  1. Note:  Scoffing (judging) does not necessarily mean that they are wrong, but that they are doing it out of the wrong heart - pride and superiority rather than love and humility
  1. But, having said that Jesus question had a pretty obvious answer, so the fact that they got it right was not necessarily that great a thing
  1. Jesus’ response - Jesus *said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes [h]will get into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.
  1. Blunt truth - a warning to the P’s - Jesus used the story to make a crucial, eternal, life-critical point to the Pharisees
  1. It’s not the P’s talk that counts, but what they actually do
  2. John the B represented true righteousness (and had a completely opposite lifestyle to the P’s)
  3. The P’s did not believe John - it did not match their image-seeking approach
  4. Sinners did believe John, which should have made the P’s a little envious to have what the sinners had
  5. This had no impact on the P’s to change their mind (repent, regret, http://biblehub.com/greek/3338.htm)
  1. John’s lifestyle meant nothing to them
  2. John’s truth meant nothing to them
  3. People’s eager response meant nothing to them
  4. = total hard, selfish, self-aggrandizing hearts
  1. Jesus’ response, part 2 - continuing to try to get through to the P’s through another question based on another parable
  1. The parable - 33 “Listen to another parable. There was a [i]landowner who planted a vineyard and put a wall around it and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and rented it out to [j]vine-growers and went on a journey. 34 When the [k]harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce. 35 The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. 37 But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39 They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
  2. The question - 40 Therefore when the [l]owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?”
  1. Jesus is once again trying to get the P’s to understand
  1. What they are doing
  2. The peril they are in
  1. In human terms, the P’s would already have offended Jesus enough for Him to “write them off”, but instead He out of love and goodness is trying to get through to them
  1. They started it (top of thread), but He was trying to overcome their evil by doing good
  1. He is using a story + a question
  1. Less direct way to make His point
  2. Maybe easier way to approach the subject - ie will get them more engaged in the point He is making vs. a full frontal rebuke
  1. Not directly rebuking them
  1. How would that apply in everyday life with an N?
  1. Lets them make the conclusion
  1. Even though N’s proudly think truth is for others, not themselves they can often come to the right conclusion
  2. This actually makes them more accountable on Judgment Day - they knew the truth, and did not do it
  1. The Pharisees’ response - 41 They *said to Him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.”
  1. As Jesus knew, the N’s were able to come up with the right answer
  2. They were very tough on the wretches in the story
  3. Once again, they were declaring the judgement which they themselves should receive
  1. Matthew 7:2 - “for in the way you judge you will be judged, and by your standard of measure it will be measured to you”
  2. As a result, they will have no reason to complain about God’s judgment on Judgement Day
  1. But, they could not see themselves in the story because of their pride - their refusal to think they had any need for repentance or change
  1. Jesus’ response - 42 Jesus *said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, This became the chief corner stone; This came about from the Lord, And it is marvelous in our eyes’?  43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a [m]people, producing the fruit of it. 44 And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”
  1. Jesus is giving the punchline to the whole discussion
  2. “You should have known this, because it’s in the Scriptures, if in fact you have read it” (Would they have read it?)  It could be that they were “teachers of the law” but were so focused on man’s tradition that they didn’t even know what the scriptures said.  Jesus said this line several times - could it be that He was challenging them more than once to look in the Book?
  3. He is saying “My story is based on Isaiah, and you have agreed with the pronouncement”
  4. The ultimate punchline or pronouncement
  1. Kingdom of God will be taken from you
  2. It will be given to others
  1. Pharisees’ response - 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them. 46 When they sought to seize Him, they feared the [n]people, because they considered Him to be a prophet.
  1. They finally understood that He was making this about them
  2. Must have hated the point Jesus was making, because they desired to grab Him
  1. Emotional response - they did not necessarily have a plan on what to do with Him - probably just beat Him to death and deal with the consequences later?
  2. Couldn’t do it because they would lose face with people, who thought that HE was a prophet
  1. Probably hated this even more
  1. Could do what they wanted in their hearts
  2. His popularity was constraining them                
  1. Part 3 - Jesus’ response - He keeps explaining His point
  1. 22 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven [a]may be compared to [b]a king who [c]gave a wedding feast for his son. 3 And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. 4 Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”’ 5 But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own [d]farm, another to his business, 6 and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. 7 But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. 8 Then he *said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ 10 Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with [e]dinner guests.  11 “But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he *said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’14 For many are [f]called, but few are chosen.”
  2. Points
  1. Here is what will happen
  2. Here is what you will be missing
  3. You had the first chance, and you rejected it
  4. You will be thrown into outer darkness - weeping and gnashing of teeth
  1. The P’s may have had a concept of hell, but they would not have possibly thought it was for them since they were the highest level of God’s chosen people
  2. Jesus is saying - “you’re going to hell”
  1. Pharisees’ response (22:15-22) - 15 Then the Pharisees went and [g]plotted together how they might trap Him [h]in what He said. 16 And they *sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and [i]defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.17 Tell us then, what do You think? Is it [j]lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?”
  1. Step 1
  1. P’s went away to
  2. Plot together to
  3. Trap Him
  4. In what He said
  5. They were trying to get Him to say something that they could accuse Him of, but it does not say what they would do if they caught Him in something.  
  1. Maybe they themselves didn’t know what they would do
  2. Maybe something to soil His reputation and knock Him down a peg?
  3. Or more?        
  1. Step 2 - who they sent - Not themselves, but their disciples, and the Herodians
  1. Maybe so that it would not look as much like a trap
  2. Sent the Herodians along with
  1. Pro-government - otherwise the P’s disciples would not have the credibility to ask the loaded question, since they themselves were anti-government
  2. Recruiting interested other competitors, who had their own reasons for being
  1. N’s will recruit competitors in order to bring a common enemy down
  1. Step 3 - What they said “saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and [i]defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.17 Tell us then, what do You think? Is it [j]lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?”
  1. Led with flattery (Proverbs 29:5 A man who flatters his neighbor Is spreading a net for his steps.)
  1. You’re truthful and teach the way of God in truth (they didn’t believe that)
  2. You defer to no one and are not partial to any
  1. What they’re trying to do
  1. They are baiting Him to make a statement independent of the government
  1. Pro-God, anti-government
  1. They could then use Jesus’ statement to claim He is anti-government, and get the secular government to take Him out        
  1. Jesus’ response - 18 But Jesus perceived their [k]malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? 19 Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a [l]denarius. 20 And He *said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They *said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He *said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.
  1. Jesus perceived their malice
  2. He rebuked them for what they were trying to pull
  1. Why are you trying to pull this stunt?
  2. You’re hypocrites, because
  1. The P’s themselves were anti-government
  2. You’re coming like you’re concerned, when you’re really coming to entrap Me - a cloak of righteousness covering an evil intent
  1. He used a physical prop (the coin) and asked the P’s an obvious and simple question which brought them in as a contributor to the answer - they were part of “owning” the answer
  1. Show me a coin
  2. Who’s likeness?
  3. Their obvious response - “Caesar”
  1. He gave a true, not-take-the bait answer to their trap
  1. Give to Caesar what’s his
  1. He did not clarify “what belongs to Caesar”
  2. They were asking a fake pseudo-sincere question, so He left it to them to answer their own question
  3. Note:  this is a semi-principle - when the P’s tried to trap Him, He structured His answers in a way that
  1. Left it to them to provide the answers to their own questions (rather than taking their bait)
  1. The P’s did not want real answers anyway
  2. Jesus was not about to throw pearls before swine
  1. Also included some statement of truth, so that it was not just defending Himself against their attacks, but also declaring truth in the process - ie
  1. Render to God what is God’s
  1. Note:  naive people would look at the questions as sincere and sincerely try to answer them.  Jesus looked at them as insincere, fake, traps and answered them in ways that
  1. Do not answer a fool according to his folly, answer a fool as his folly deserves
  1. “According to” not there
  2. Actually is don’t answer a fool’s folly (evel)
  1. He also gave (one more time) a challenge to them to honor God (instead of looking for ways to undermine Him)
  1. Give to God what is HIS
  1. Their response - 22 And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.
  1. Why amazed?
  1. His wisdom in avoiding the trap
  2. Anything else?
  1. Matthew 22:34-46 - After Jesus silenced the Sadducees in their question to Jesus about 7 brothers marrying a widow - The Pharisees final 2? attempts to trap Jesus through tricky questions
  1. The Pharisees - 34 But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. 35 One of them, [n]a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him,36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
  1. 3985 peirázō (from 3984 /peíra, "test, trial") – "originally to test, to try which was its usual meaning in the ancient Greek and in the LXX" (WP, 1, 30). "The word means either test or tempt" (WP, 1, 348). Context alone determines which sense is intended, or if both apply simultaneously.
  2. Sounds like a “hail mary” question (no specific outcome in mind) to see if Jesus will say anything to get Him in trouble
  3. A little bit of flattery in calling Jesus “teacher”
  1. Jesus - 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and [o]foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
  1. Straightforward answer - did not answer via a question
  1. Maybe the question was semi-sincere
  2. Maybe it was such a clear opportunity for the highest straightest truth that Jesus went for it
  3. Jesus could have been rightfully sick of the P’s questions by now, but took this opportunity to make clear the essence of their OT scriptures
  1. Jesus continued - 41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: 42 “What do you think about [p]the Christ, whose son is He?” They *said to Him, “The son of David.” 43 He *said to them, “Then how does David [q]in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, 44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet”’?  45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?”
  1. One final attempt by Jesus to get the Pharisees to seriously think about who the Messiah might be
  2. For Jesus, it was not one and done, but a series of attempts to reach the P’s even with their attempts to undermine and destroy Him.  However, there was a limit to Jesus’ attempts.   Maybe partly due to His being on a fixed timetable from God - the P’s were not responding and He needed to keep moving forward in His mission
  1. Pharisees response - 46 No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him [r]another question.
  1. It is not that they were unwilling to answer, they could not answer Jesus - they had no clue on what He was saying
  1. But in their pride, they were not about to ask Jesus to explain it
  1. This is in contrast to the disciples who did ask Jesus to explain things which they did not understand
  1. nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him [r]another question - options for consideration
  1. They had run out of bullets - they did not know of any other question they could ask to entrap Him  AND/OR
  2. They were afraid to approach Him any more, since He had embarrassed them in exposing their ignorance, and in their pride
  1. Matthew 23 - 23 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples,2 saying:
  1. The P’s have put themselves in the seat Moses
  2. Woe to you
  1. Directed straight at the P’s (were they there?)
  1. Ending 24 Jesus came out from the temple and was going away [a]when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. 2 And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”
  1. Matthew 23 was spoken in the temple
  2. The P’s used this statement as part of their later accusation of Jesus (reference)
  3. Therefore, even though Jesus spoke Matthew 23 to the disciples, the P’s were likely listening in the back and the Woe’s while spoken to the disciples were directed at the P’s
  1. Matthew 26 - After Jesus’s extensive discussion with the disciples about the end times and then need to be faithful and ready, and little about what would happen in the next few days (crucifixion) -                      
  1. 3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; 4 and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him. 5 But they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise a riot might occur among the people.”
  1. The P’s had failed in attempts to undermine Him and trap Him in what He said, so they were going to simply outright kill Him and take Him out
  1. Totally gangster
  1. Judas’s Bargain  14 Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me [a]to [b]betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty [c]pieces of silver to him. 16 From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to [d]betray [e]Jesus.
  1. Somehow, Judas knew that the chief priests wanted to capture Jesus secretly in order to kill Him
  1. So the P’s intent was obvious to all OR
  2. The evil people knew what was going down  OR
  3. Someone in the P’s circle had leaked it to the “disciple” they knew to be corrupt
  1. Judas was greedy, would basically do anything for money
  1. Stole from the common purse
  2. Would
  3. Most likely, Judas’s greed was known.  It had been three years, so it could not have been hidden that long
  1. To the disciples
  2. To Jesus
  3. To the P’s
  1. 47 While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up [l]accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people.  48 Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.” 49 Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50 And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.  51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus [m]reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and [n]cut off his ear.    And 55 At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. 56 But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled.  57 Those who had seized Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together.
  1. While not specifically stated, the chief priests must have created the plan
  1. Create a mob, arm them with swords and clubs
  1. The mob somehow included Romans?
  2. The mob included the slave of the high priest
  1. As part of the rent-a-mob?
  2. As a reporter back to the high priest?
  1. Judas points out Jesus in the dark to the mob
  2. Jesus gets captured and brought in at night for His “sentencing” and death
  3. Did they know at the time that they had to go to Pilate for the approval of death?
  1. A few details not clear ?
  1. Jesus response to the lynch mob - “why are you doing this at night?  You could have done this any day in the temple.  But, it’s to fulfill scripture”
  1. Challenging their cowardice (or more accurately the chief priests cowardice
  2. Pointing them to God’s grand plan, one more time
  3. A lynch mob needs an organizer/agitator
  1. Some P or an agent of a P
  2. That’s why Judas was needed to point out Jesus to the  mob - to make sure they got the right guy in the middle of the night        
  1. Jesus before the Chief Priest
  1. The P’s - 59 Now the chief priests and the whole [q]Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. 60 They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61 and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the [r]temple of God and to rebuild it [s]in three days.’” 62 The high priest stood up and said to Him, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?”
  1. Tried to obtain false testimony = trumped up charges, since they did not have any real charges
  2. They couldn’t find any false testimony even though many false witnesses came forward
  1. The false witnesses had no credibility
  2. Jesus was so clean, that the false testimony had no credibility
  1. A curse without cause does not alight ?
  1. Implications for N study
  1. If we have an impeccable reputation, N’s will find it very difficult to smear us.  They will have no credibility
  1. CK
  1. Jesus - 63 But Jesus kept silent.  Why?
  1. He didn’t defend Himself
  1. His reputation spoke for itself, there was nothing to say - “wisdom is vindicated by her deeds”
  2. It would not have worked anyway - the P’s were hell-bent on doing this
  3. He did not owe the Chief Priest an answer - that would have been submitting to the CP’s authority
  4. It was up to God to defend Him.
  5. He had a mission of the Cross, trying to defend Himself would have hindered His own mission
  1. There was no truth to present - they had already rejected it
  2. He was not going to cast pearls before swine, “lest they trample it under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces”
  1. The Chief Priest - And the high priest said to Him, “I [t]adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are [u]the Christ, the Son of God.”
  1. Adjure  1844 eksorkízō (from 1537 /ek, "completely out from," intensifying 3726 /horkízō, "adjure") – properly, to adjure, putting someone under strict oath (used only in Mt 26:63) by the living God
  2. This was the first direct command from the (leader of the) P’s to Jesus
  1. Jesus responded to this
  1. Asked whether Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God
  1. This was His formulation of what He thought Jesus’ position was.  Jews did not think the Messiah was the Son of God ??  
  2. He was looking for a clear, direct, put-it-on-the-line incriminating statement from Jesus.  All of the other P attempts to entrap Jesus were on derivative issues - the Chief Priest wsa cutting to the chase
  1. Jesus’ response - 64 Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, [v]hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
  1. “You have said it” = 3004 légō (originally, "lay down to sleep," used later of "laying an argument to rest," i.e. bringing a message to closure; see Curtius, Thayer) – properly, to say (speak), moving to a conclusion (bringing it to closure, "laying it to rest").
  1. You are bringing all of our previous interactions to a conclusion - “you are finally getting to the real point”   HOWEVER, IT GOES BEYOND THAT.  I’M TELLING YOU THAT YOU WILL SEE
  1. Me sitting at the right hand (implying with full access to) of Power (GOD’s power) and coming on the clouds of heaven
  1. IE - I’m not just your concept of the Messiah, and the Son of God, but the next time you see Me I will have God’s ultimate power.  I won’t be just an earthly ruler or an early “son” of God, but will rule with God’s total power from Heaven.  (This is a declaration way beyond the limited construction presented by the Chief Priest)
  1. This was effectively the final encounter
  1. The P’s had failed to take out Jesus, so the Chief Priest led the straight up confrontation to get Jesus to incriminate Himself so that they could kill Him.
  2. Jesus did not answer any but the real charge, which was that He was the Messiah.  But He at the same time gave them all one final warning.  He was faithful in presenting God’s case to them until the very end - in spite of their treachery and evil intent.
  1. The Chief Priest’s and P’s response

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