April 20, 2014

Defeated By A Single Word, Twice – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:03 am by sranderson0103

“No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.” (Matthew 22:46)

The Jews of Jesus day were denominated into separate, completive sects, much as those who consider themselves Christians today. The two most influential divisions were the Sadducees and the Pharisees.

It is amazing that many can easily see inconsistency in the fact that both groups devoutly affirmed the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, yet at the same time, the Sadducees denied the resurrection and the reality of angels, while the Pharisees continually added their own laws to God’s. Many today understand that if one believes that the Scriptures are the word of God, that one should not behave the way Sadducees and the Pharisees did. But they still do.

The allegiance to God’s will in Jesus’ day was superseded by an inflated estimate of their own will. They didn’t see that. Can we?

It was this great esteem for their own righteousness that blinded their eyes to the Messiah in their midst.

“For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:3)

Their spiritual myopia combined with competitive envy produced an escalating friction that reached a climax when Jesus went to Jerusalem for His last Passover. Both sects plotted to trap Him with doctrinal questions, devised to show their own superior insights and to embarrass this “blasphemous imposter.”

Jesus confronted the Sadducees, who rejected the doctrine of resurrection, saying:

“But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: ‘ I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” (Matthew 22:31-32)

We are told that this exposition silenced the Sadducees. Then we read:

“But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him,” (Matthew 22:35-36)

He answered them brilliantly then parried, asking them a question regarding the Messiah described in the Psalms. How David could call the Messiah Lord if He was David’s son? (Matthew 22:45)

“No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.” (Matthew 22:46)

Please consider the fact that each group was silenced with a single word from the Scriptures. To the Sadducees, the word was “am,” indicating that Abraham had not ceased to exist, but was still living. To the Pharisees, the word was “Lord:” that is, “Jehovah said unto Adonai”, proving that the Messiah was both human and divine, descended from David but also David’s Lord. Both of Christ’s arguments reveal His attitude toward the authoritative, determinative power of one word of scripture. And both the Sadducees and the Pharisees understood and acknowledged the force of such an argument.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if those who consider themselves children of God today had as much regard for the authority of Scripture as the Sadducees and the Pharisees of Jesus’ day (even if they did not obey it)? Of course, the appropriate attitude requires both respect and obedience. Today, we need more of both.

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris.




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