2021

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Jesus and the Woman Sinner

In our last Sunday school class we studied the passage from Matthew chapter 11 where Jesus cursed the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum.  We also looked at how Jesus called the people to come to Him. He encouraged them to walk away from the burdensome yoke of Pharisaic and Mishnaic teaching and take His light yoke upon themselves.

 In this EBlast, we will look at Luke chapter 7:36-50 and chapter 8:1-3.  First let us set the stage for what was happening there in chapter 7.  Jesus was invited to dine in the house of a Pharisee.  Remember, the Pharisees (and the whole Sanhedrin), had the responsibility, on behalf of the nation of Israel, to decide whether or not Jesus was the promised Messiah, as He claimed to be.  Once we are in the house of this Pharisee, we quickly learn that there is a “sinner” in his home.  In this context, the term “sinner” was referring to a female prostitute.

This woman (prostitute) cried on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet clean with her hair. She kissed Jesus’ feet. She anointed Jesus’ head with valuable perfume.  The Pharisee thought to Himself that if Jesus was at least a prophet, He would have realized what type of woman she was who was touching and kissing Him.  The Pharisee believed that neither a prophet of God nor especially the Messiah, would allow Himself to be touched by such a sinful woman.  Jesus knew this man’s thoughts and He confronted Him on his thoughts.  The fact that Jesus knew the man’s thoughts probably should have gotten this man’s attention.  Anyway, Jesus taught this Pharisee that this woman realized her depth of sin and her need for much forgiveness.  As a result of what she understood about herself, this woman expressed much love to the One she believed could forgive her.  The Pharisee, on the other hand, had invited and welcomed Jesus into his house, but he did not extend even the normal and common courtesies to an invited guest.  This Pharisee was not at all honoring Jesus.

 A further observation for us to ask is how did this woman gain access into the house of this Pharisee?  Normally, there is no way this “sinner” would have been allowed into the home of this Pharisee.  Was this a set up?  Was this Pharisee looking for a way to discredit Jesus and therefore have the grounds to deny His Messianic claim?  Personally, I would answer these questions with a Yes.  Jesus was not intimidated.  Jesus forgave the woman’s sins.  This is something only God can do.  Jesus was telling this Pharisee, this woman and all others in the house, that He was indeed the promised Messiah.

 In chapter 8 verses 1-3, we learn that Jesus went on a preaching tour from city to city and from village to village.  We also learn that there were several women who had the necessary means to financially support Jesus and His Apostles as they travelled.

 This brings us to the next major event in the Life of Jesus.  The Sanhedrin is ready to render it’s decision as to whether or not Jesus is the promised Messiah.  Of course, we know what they decided.  Remember, their decision represents the nation, not the individuals.  Multitudes of individuals believed in Jesus as the Messiah.  Nevertheless, a national decision must be rendered.  We are ready to look at that decision.  Sunday school. See you then?

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Jesus and John the Baptist

In this past Sunday school, we studied two events in the earthly life of our Lord Jesus.  Our corresponding passages were in Matthew 8 and Luke 7.  We saw Jesus heal the servant of a Roman centurion.  Jesus blessed this man who had been blessing Israel.  We also saw Jesus resurrect the son of a widow.  As a result of these events, the Sermon on the Mount and so much more, the knowledge of Jesus had spread throughout Judea, Galilee and the Gentile regions.

 Let us be reminded, from the full Biblical perspective, what is happening in the Gospels.  The Scriptures had told the nation of Israel that the Messiah was coming.  Jesus came as the promised Messiah and Savior of mankind.  Jesus clearly proclaimed Himself as Israel’s long awaited and anticipated Messiah.  Throughout the Gospels, Jesus consistently validated His claim to be the Messiah.  At this point in our study, multitudes have come to realize that Jesus is, indeed, their Messiah.  At some point, as a nation, Israel will need to render a decision. Either Jesus is or is not the Messiah. Again, not individually, but nationally.  

 The nation is led by the Sanhedrin. As we have discussed, the Sanhedrin functioned as the Supreme Court for the nation.  Currently, in our study, we are marching ourselves directly towards the decision rendered by the Sanhedrin.  The record of their decision is found in Matthew 12 and Mark 3.  We are not there, yet.

 In this EBlast, we will discuss Matthew 11:2-19 and Luke 7:18-35.  Let us make some observations from these two passages.  John the Baptist knew very well that his relative, Jesus, was the Messiah.  John saw the Spirit, as a dove, descend and land on Jesus.  He pointed out to the crowds that Jesus was the Messiah.  It appeared that, now, after some time and after having been in prison for a while, John had begun to question his own conclusions.  Certainly, John’s life had not turned out as John might have expected, in light of him being the forerunner for the Messiah.  After receiving two of John’s disciples, Jesus told them to tell John of all of the Messianic work that Jesus was doing.  In essence, Jesus was telling John, “Worry not. You did your job well and you were correct. I am the Messiah”.

 Jesus then taught the crowd about John. John was not wishy washy. He was clear and confident in his proclamation. He was not influenced by wealth and comforts.  He was a prophet.  He received direct revelation from God.  He was, actually, more than just a prophet. John was THE one to prepare the people for the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.  In fact, amongst all the prophets, there was none greater than John.  Knowledge about John had spread.  Even in Acts 19, the Apostle Paul encountered some people in Ephesus who were acquainted with the baptism of John.  

 Yet, even though John is the greatest of the Old Testament saints, those who are “The Church”, are greater than even the greatest Old Testament saint.  This is because the Church is the bride of the Messiah.  This is because the Church has the living God living inside of us.  Jesus then went on to explain that John’s job was to prepare the people for the coming Messiah.  He did his job. Now, the nation will have to decide, yes or no regarding Jesus.  Those who were baptized by John came to believe.  The Sanhedrin, on the other hand, would not believe.  The Sanhedrin were like little children in the playground.  No matter what John or Jesus did, they simply would not believe. They insisted on having it their own way.

 To expound: John came as a Nazarite. He regularly fasted and he drank no wine.  Because of this lifestyle, the Sanhedrin rejected John.  Jesus did not fast, according to the religious system, and He drank wine. They used this lifestyle as a criterion to reject Jesus.  They could not be satisfied or pleased.  Regarding John, the Sanhedrin said that he had a demon.  Keep that in mind.  How they accused John, the forerunner of the Messiah, is how they will accuse the Messiah.

 

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