Skip to comments.There Was A Pharisee...John 3 pt 1
Posted on 02/18/2012 7:49:10 PM PST by pastorbillrandles
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.(John 3:1-2)
John 3 is one of those bible chapters which in my view are of an essential nature to all who are seeking God, and in need of the salvation God offers. Jesus himself is the instructor, the pupil, (standing on this passage as representative for all seekers of God) is a Senator of Israel and a Pharisee, named Nicodemus. The subject is the new birth.
But first a word about Pharisees. Who were the Pharisees?
Over the years, there has developed a serious misconstruction about who these people were and how we are to view them. Modern readers of the Bible often see the Pharisees as real bad guys, hypocritical to the core and vicious enemies of the Lord. The last thing anyone would want to be considered in modern evangelical christianity, would be to be called a Pharisee.
The Pharisees that Jesus rebuked, exposed, and vehemently denounced in scripture seem to the modern Bible reader as an almost alien species. This is because we have developed caricatures of Pharisaism, which allow us to mentally distance ourselves from any identity with them.We may be a lot of things but we are certainly not greedy, hypocritical, murderous Pharisees!
But the Pharisees, and Jesus encounter with them are meant to serve as a warning to us, for they apply particularly to we who are evangelicals . How could that be ? The Pharisees were to back to the Bible movement of the inter testamental period! They sought to resist the worldliness which was sweeping away the majority of their countrymen in the ancient world.
That virulent species of worldliness was called Hellenism, ie the acceptance of greek culture, and the repudiation of Judaism. How bad did it get? Hellenism was imposed by force, in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, the brutal anti-christ precursor, but many Jews willingly accommodated to it , some going as far as submitting to reverse circumcisions!
At one point the High Prest of Israel took on a greek name, and a gymnasium was built in Jerusalem. We are not talking about todays gyms for physical fitness. A gymnasium was a greek school for the whole man. Athletic activities were done in the nude, greek philosophy, and the worship of the physical body were involved, and homosexuality was rampant.
Pharisaism emerged out of a godly resistance to all of that. The Pharisee attempted to take on his shoulders all of the 613 commands of the Law of God , making it his lifes goal to keep them! He believed that by doing so, the Kingdom of God would come again to Israel.
The word Pharisee means separated one. This was a serious reform movement, within Judaism.
By no means am I saying I agree with what the Pharisees would end up as, nor do I deny that the Pharisees were the hypocrites Jesus exposed them to be. My purpose is to remove the caricature of hem, so that we can realize that God is not describing some openly hateful, alien cult to us, but rather people very much like the modern back to the Bible movement, concerned about worldliness and seeking to separate ourselves from it by turning to God and the Bible.
Actually, the Pharisees were theologically closest of all of the contemporary sects to Jesus. Unlike the ruling Sadducees, the Pharisees believed in death, resurrection, angels, demons, the afterlife, heaven and hell. The Pharisees were right on board with John the Baptist and Jesus at the beginning of Jesus ministry. Because He was closest to them, Jesus critiqued them more than any other sect.
The many warnings to the Pharisees are meant as a message to all of us. Warnings against mere externalism, innovation, substitution of man-made precepts for the word of God, eye service, self-seeking, and self-serving religion, misplaced emphasis, proof-texting, using scripture rather than truly seeking God apply to every spiritual reform movement. The Pharisees were evangelical, crossing land and sea to make one convert!
This particular Pharisee served in the Sanhedrin, the senate of Israel. He was a chief ruler, and was called The Teacher of Israel. His subject was the Kingdom of God and entry into it. everyone esteemed Him as a Spiritual giant, and as a teacher of the nation.
But something about Jesus penetrated his heart, so the teacher of Israel went to meet him on evening.
to be continued
I'm so grateful that I don't have to listen to this swill from the pulpit.
Your grasp of Hebrew and Greek is just... breathtaking....
It would be better to be accurate.
You don’t sound sincere on the gratefulness part. Swill?
And yes, swill. Stuff that you might feed to a pig. But don't expect it to do the pig any good.
Self important preachers with minimal language skills maybe should focus on the gospel of redemption.
I'm directed to discern. That's what I perceive.
An old preacher once said” if you throw a shoe into a pack of dogs, the one that yelps is the one that got hit!” God bless you J random
And you didn't throw a shoe, you threw a shoecabinet, in polyglot.
And conflated stuff so bad it can't be sorted to be critiqued.
What does any of that have to do with Salvation by redemption? Where is THAT message?
I'll pray for you, too. As I pray for many here on FR.
Funny, I don't see you on those threads. Just your self-serving threads.
What is your offense? Why so insulting? btw thanks for the prayers
Parking in a no-parking zone, bootlegging a live pig in a no-pig zone (great BBQ), speaking my mind.
Those are but a few of my offenses.
Am I supposed to cross myself and say "forgive me father, for I have sinned" now?
You can't even get it right in english. Verbs and nouns.
If a man sets himself up above others and puts on haughty aires, he should expect the occasional tomato.
Not sure what your problem is. Pastor R is just discussing the idea that our modern view of Pharisees is different than the actual historical view; from what I've researched, the Pharisees were “of the people’ while the Sanhedrin (sp?) were the elites.
If you've got a particular problem with what Pastor R is saying, why don't you be specific rather than dissing him as if you know some deep revelation here that he is missing.
Nuts to that sort of superserious fake criticism. And of all people Pastor R has always in mind the eternal cost of true versus false preaching.
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
Personal attacks on Pastor R? Unreal. You must be channelling Ayn Rand or some other such atheistic faux POV. Go Galt! Yeah!
“The subject is the new birth.”
The subject is baptism, and why Nicodemus hadn’t listened to John or, more properly, God speaking through John. And therefore the subject is the importance of baptism, and why God commanded it.
I have no idea what unleashed the spirit of offense on this thread tonight; but I've never read such nitpicky nonsense on a FR thread such as this.
BTW, God never commanded baptism or the new birth, i.e. being born again in Christ that water baptism is a source and symbol of (while the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the vehicle by which we become born again) — God never commands that which is a free will choice.
Anyway, Lord bless Pastor R and all the nitpickers on this thread plus all the hardworking FR mods.
Well, Sontagged, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to say for the simple reason that I don’t understand what you just wrote. Read again what you wrote.
It is a run on sentence that adds up to nothing I suppose.
Overall just confused at why Pastor R is getting such flack for a pretty innocent posting.
As you probably know, Deuteronomy 12:32 warned the Israelites not to add anything to the Torah, but after returning from the Babylonian exile, that is exactly what they did...with good intentions, so that they would not repeat the sins that got them exiled in the first place.
Unfortunately, these extra-curricular laws they came up with took on a life of their own, to the point that people who sincerely sought after God had become oppressed by all this hair-splitting minutiae, promulgated and enforced by those who held themselves in authority. (Comparable to today's volumes of government regulations.)
This, I believe, was Yeshua's (Jesus') real beef with the Pharisees. Not their keeping of the Torah, which Yeshua himself kept perfectly, but rather all the extra man-made nonsensical traditions that did not come from the Torah at all. He was very "in their face" about those.
You are right, I agree with your take, it is Biblical. My only point was that the critique of Pharisaism by Jesus hits a lot closer to home than many realize. People “love to hate “ Pharisees, but miss the application. Pharisaism developed into the dead, tradition crusted, rabbinic commentary over scripture cult that Jesus denounced, but it originally was a conservative reaction against hellenism. At least with the Pharisees Jesus could appeal to the Word of God, to show them their error.
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