Religion’s Offense With God & His Christ

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by John Mark. More specifically today’s passage is found in verses thirteen through forty-four of the twelfth chapter of this New Testament book. “And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and camest for no man: for thou regardless not the person of men, but teaches the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s. And they marveled at him? (Mark 12:13-17). “Then come unto him the Sadduceees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise. And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also. In the resurrection therefore when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? For the seven had her to wife. And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, 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 the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err” (Mark 12:18-27). “And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he he answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The LORD our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said unto him, Well, master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question” (Mark 12:28-34). “And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple. How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. David therefore himself called him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly” (Mark 12:35-37). “And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: which devour widows’ houses, and for a presence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation” (Mark 12:38-40). “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (Mark 12:41-44). When you come to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you can and will be brought face to face with a section found within this chapter centered upon the religious leaders of Jesus’ day—and not only the religious leaders but also the teachers of the Law—coming unto the Lord Jesus seeking to both tempt and trap Him. If you take the time to read the four gospel narratives which are found within the New Testament you will find that time and time again the religious leaders would come unto the Lord Jesus with their questions—not because they were sincere in their approach of Him but rather because they sought to find occasion to accuse Him. We cannot read the four gospel narratives and not encounter and come face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the words and language that is contained therein and how the religious leaders which were present in the midst of Jesus’ day deliberately and intentionally sought to come unto Him that they might find reason to accuse Him. Not only this but when you read the words which are found within each of the gospels you can and will be brought face to face with the powerful truth that they sought to find any and every mean whereby they might destroy and put Him to death. There is absolutely no denying the fact that when you come to this passage of Scripture you will encounter the tremendous and wonderful truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and how the scribes and the Pharisees completely and utterly hated and despised Him. You cannot read any of the four gospels narratives and not encounter and come face to face with a religious system—and not only a religious system but also a religious spirit—which sought to completely and utterly destroy Jesus and remove Him from the picture. I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but encounter the truth that it didn’t make a difference whether it was the scribes, or the Pharisees, or the Sadducees, or the chief priests, or the elders of the people for all sought to find means to accuse the Lord Jesus. The four gospels call and draw our attention to the incredible reality surrounding the Lord Jesus and how each of the various religious sects during those days deliberately and intentionally sought to find means whereby they might completely and utterly destroy the Lord Jesus. Time and time again you will find the religious leaders which were present during those days coming unto the Lord Jesus and beginning with their questions sought to ask such questions that would ultimately ensnare and entrap Him in His words. Oh if there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture it is that the religious leaders which were present during the days of the Lord Jesus were not only angered and offended with and by the words of the Lord Jesus but they were also angered and offended by His works. You cannot read the words which are found in each of the four gospel narratives and not encounter and come face to face with a religious system which desperately desired to destroy and put to death the Lord Jesus because they could not tame nor could they control Him—neither His words nor His actions. If there is one thing I can’t help but be absolutely and completely captivated by when I read the words found within the four gospel narratives it’s how the religious spirit and the religious system could not tame nor could they destroy the Lord Jesus. Despite their best efforts to place Jesus in a box whereby they might confine Him to borders and boundaries they themselves had created the Lord Jesus would not be One who was willing to remain and abide in their theological and doctrinal box. The four gospel narratives are replete with example after example of the Lord Jesus and His being expected to be one who would indeed be desired of the religious system and leaders to be controlled and tamed by them and how they thought and perceived Him to act. The more you read the four gospel narratives the more you can and will be brought face to face with the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the religious spirit and system which was present during the days of the Lord Jesus and how both the spirit and system of religion would seek to find means whereby they might trap and ensnare the Lord Jesus. This they would do by bringing their questions before and unto Him seeking to somehow trip Him up within His words that by and through His responses they might have means to completely and utterly find and have grounds to accuse Him. From the beginning of the opposition and resistance of the religious leaders which were present during the days of Jesus as mentioned and written of in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew until the time of His suffering as it was written in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find the religious leaders and the religious system desperately trying anything and everything they could to completely and utterly destroy the Lord Jesus that they might rid the people and the land from His influence. I read the four gospel narratives which are found within the New Testament and I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with a religious system and spirit that would indeed be entirely and altogether offended and angered by and with the Lord Jesus. The religious leaders which were present during those days were such who would be angered and offended by the Lord Jesus and by both the words which He spoke as well as the works which He would work in the midst of them in Judaea and Galilee. What’s more is that as you read the four gospel narratives—particularly and especially the gospel narrative written by the apostle John—you can and will be brought face to face with the religious leaders as well as the religious Jews which desperately desired means whereby they might destroy and put to death the Lord Jesus. Oh there is something we have a great need to pay close and careful attention to as it calls and draws our attention to the truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and how the religious leaders and the religious Jews during those days desperately did everything they could to try and silence and put to death the Lord Jesus. The more you read the gospel narratives the more you can and will be brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and how His words and His works would entirely and altogether anger and offend the religious Jews and the religious leaders which were present during those days—and not only how He would anger and offend them but how that offense would cause them to seek to completely and utterly destroy Him. Within the four New Testament gospels you can and will encounter and come face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the religious Jews and the religious leaders who would vehemently oppose and persecute the Lord Jesus during those days. In fact you cannot read the words which are found within the four gospel narratives and not encounter and come face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the religious spirit which was present during those days and how this religious spirit not only animated the religious leaders which were present during those days but also the religious Jews. If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the four gospel narratives is that it wasn’t the Roman centurions who tried silencing the voice of the Lord Jesus. You cannot and will not find any place within the four gospel narratives where Rome itself would seek to silence the voice of the Lord Jesus—despite all His talk and rhetoric concerning the kingdom of heaven which would be manifested unto and among them. There is absolutely no place found within any of the four New Testament gospels where you will find Rome entering into Judaea and/or Galilee and seeking to silence the voice of the Lord Jesus. Nowhere in any of the four gospels will you find any account of Roman centurions coming unto the Lord Jesus with a powerful message seeking to both warn and silence Him. The four gospel narratives found in the New Testament are entirely and altogether replete with example after example of the Lord Jesus being able to move freely throughout Judaea and Galilee—and not only Galilee and Judaea but also the city of Jerusalem—without any interference from Rome itself as Rome would be entirely and altogether detached from this man whom many regarded as a prophet and who others regarded as the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God. I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the words which are found in the four New Testament gospel narratives and I am brought face to face with the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the religious spirit which was present during those days and how so easily angered and offended it was with the Lord Jesus Christ. Regardless of whether or not it was the religious Jews or the religious leaders present during the days of Jesus the religion spirit was such that would entirely and altogether seek to silence and ultimately destroy the person of the Lord Jesus. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this as it calls and draws our attention to just how much the religious spirit sought to raise up those who would carry out the desperate attempt to completely and utterly destroy the person of the Lord Jesus. The religious spirit which had so long enslaved, captivated, bound and blinded the religious leaders would also blind and bind the religious Jews as well as they would be angered and offended by the Lord Jesus and the words which He would speak as well as the works which He would work. In fact there were countless times when the very works of the Lord Jesus would indeed anger and offend the Jews for He would demonstrate—or at least in their own opinion and assessment seem to demonstrate a complete and utter regard for the sabbath day. Time and time again within the four New Testament gospel narratives which I were written concerning the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ we find accounts of the religious leaders being angered and offended by the Lord Jesus because of His apparent and alleged disregard for their traditions, for their rules, for their regulations and even for the sabbath itself. It should be noted when reading the four gospel narratives that the religious leaders and the religious Jews never sought to accuse the Lord Jesus by and according to the Law of Moses but rather based solely and entirely upon His words and works. Oh it would indeed be true that they would weaponize the Law of Moses and try and use it as means of trapping and ensnaring the Lord Jesus in His words during those days. The religious leaders and the religious Jews would take the Law of Moses and would pick bits and pieces of it which they would use as means to completely and utterly accuse and find fault within the Lord Jesus. Oh we must needs recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in these gospel narratives for they call and draw our attention to the undeniable truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and how the religious leaders and the religious Jews desperately and vehemently sought to destroy and put Him to death. They would watch Him carefully while He was in the synagogues that they might see whether or not He would indeed heal those who were in need in the midst of them. Time and time again the religious leaders would be angered and offended with the Lord Jesus because He would show little regard for the sabbath and even their very own traditions, rules and regulations, borders and boundaries. In all reality we must needs recognize and understand the words found in the four gospel narratives and how they bring us face to face with both the religious Jews as well as their religious leaders who would indeed seek to find means to destroy the Lord Jesus because of His apparent disregard for that which they had spent a considerable amount of time seeking to find means of destroying and putting Him to death because He would not and could not allow Himself to be bound by their rules, their boundaries, their borders and their regulations. It is with all of this in mind I invite you to consider the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John beginning with the second chapter. Beginning with the second chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you can and will be brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the religious Jews and how the religious Jews were such who would find great fault and take great offense with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is something we must needs understand when reading the New Testament gospel narratives written by the gospel authors for they call and draw our attention to just how much they sought to completely and utterly destroy the person of the Lord Jesus. Beginning with the second chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we are brought face to face with the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the religious Jews and how they would entirely and altogether seek to persecute, oppose and utterly destroy the Lord Jesus. Having said this I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the New Testament gospel narratives written by the apostle John for they help set the stage for what we find in this particular section found in the gospel narrative written by John Mark. Oh there is something we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found and contained in this passage of Scripture for it brings us face to face with just how much the religious spirit animated and controlled countless Jews during those days and how they would seek to put to death and destroy the Lord Jesus. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John beginning with the second chapter: “After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when he had made a scrounge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The seal of thine house hath eaten me up. Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man” (John 2:12-25). “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. IN these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: But while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole” (John 5:1-15). “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise: For the Father loveth the Son, and Shemeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel” (John 5:16-20). “Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. NO man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that’s hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die> I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, Verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinkers my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and dinrketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat mann, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteer nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve” (John 6:34-71). “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: ;for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews. Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every white whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ lieth, no man knoweth whence he is. Then cried Jesus in the Temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me. Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. And many of th people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him. Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? Will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?” (John 7:1-36). “Then spake Jesus again unto them,s aging, I am the light of the world: he that followers me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou nearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and Whittier I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me heareth witness of me. Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins; whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? Because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to k ill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God; this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a lair, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words; yet therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dis honour me. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judge the. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? And the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honour etc me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a lair like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus aid unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by” (John 8:12-59). I am absolutely and completely convinced we must needs pay close attention to the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John for within it we see just how strong the hold of the religious spirit was on the Jews. What’s more is that this spirit of religion not only had a strong hold on the Jews themselves but also on their religious leaders as well. It is entirely and altogether amazing to consider how the religious spirit so animated the religious leaders and the religious Jews during the days of Jesus—and so much so that the Jews and their religious leaders would seek to persecute and destroy the Lord Jesus. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it brings us face to face with the words which are present in the twelfth chapter of the gospel narrative written by John Mark. If you begin reading with and from the thirteenth verse you will find certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians being sent unto the Lord Jesus with one very specific assignment and purpose. Beginning to read with and from the thirteenth verse of this passage you will find how these Pharisees and Herodians were sent unto the Lord Jesus that they might catch Him in his words. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it further confirms and brings us face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and how the religious leaders of that day would continually seek to trap and ensnare the Lord Jesus. What we must needs understand is that the religious leaders would be angered and offended by the Lord Jesus and His works and would seek to persecute Him. With this being said we must also recognize and understand that while it was indeed true the religious leaders were offended with the Lord Jesus because He chose to heal on the sabbath day while apparently and allegedly showing no regard for the sabbath nor for the Law of Moses the Lord Jesus would be the target of countless traps and snares which the religious leaders would try and set for Him. If you turn and draw your attention to the Old Testament poetic book of the Psalms you will find David himself—this psalmist and king of the nation and kingdom of Israel—being the target of his enemies and adversaries. It is impossible to read the Old Testament poetic book of the Psalms and not encounter and come face to face with the continued attempt(s) of David’s enemies and adversaries to lay traps and snares for him. In fact many of his psalms would indeed speak of his enemies and adversaries and how they deliberately and intentionally sought to kill and destroy Him. Oh this is something we must needs recognize and pay close attention to for it brings us face to face with the Son of David who would find Himself the target of countless enemies and adversaries. Those enemies and adversaries which would seek to destroy the Lord Jesus were those who were entirely and altogether animated by the religious spirit and were not only blind but also bound. Time and time again the religious leaders which were present during the days of the Lord Jesus would be those who would seek to set traps and snares for Him. Time and time again as Jesus walked in Jewry or Judaea and Galilee He would find Himself the target of countless traps and snares which were set for Him by the religious leaders present during those days. Oh we cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely astounding it is to see how Jesus’ adversaries and enemies would set traps and snares for Him just as the enemies and adversaries of David king of Israel would set traps and snares for Him. From the time David was anointed king over the nation of Israel while Saul himself was still king over the nation there would be continued traps that would be set seeking to destroy him. Time and time again Saul king of Israel would seek to set a trap for him including while he was married to his own daughter seeking to come upon him while they were in their chamber. I sit here today thinking about the incredible contrast and comparison which exists between David king of Israel and the Son of David who was the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot read the words which are found within the four gospel narratives and not see how the Son of David would indeed be one who was continually targeted by his enemies and adversaries—those who would seek to lie in wait for Him and who would seek to lay traps and snares for Him. In fact I am absolutely convinced there must needs be a careful consideration to some of the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Psalms for I am convinced that just as the enemies and adversaries of David sought to lay traps and snares for him that they might put him to death . Within the Old Testament books of First and Second Samuel as well as the book of First Chronicles we encounter time and time again when the enemies and adversaries of David sought to lay traps and snares for him that they might somehow cause him to stumble and find himself suffering and ultimately being put to death. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in the Old Testament book of the Psalms for within it we encounter David king of Israel of whom Jesus the Son of Jesus would come would be entirely and altogether similar in nature. Just as the enemies and adversaries of David king of Israel sought to destroy and put him to death so also would the enemies and adversaries seek to put to death the Lord Jesus. IN fact I would dare say the words which are found in the eighteenth chapter—while they are a psalm and song written and sung by David in the day the LORD delivered him from all his enemies and from the hand of Saul—are a wonderful and powerful picture of the continue struggle the Son of David faced during those three and a half years. It would be during those three and a half years the Son of David would continually face continued opposition and persecution from those who would seek to ensnare and entrap Him that they might not only find grounds and means to accuse Him but also destroy Him. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the eighteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Psalms beginning with the first verse: “To the chief Musician, Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said, I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: So shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of the ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: The snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth should and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of the nostrils. HE sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: But the LORD was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me. I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. With the merciful thou Willy shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; with the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward. For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but will bring down high looks. For thou wilt light my candle: The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: The word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the LORD? Or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath Holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: They are fallen under my feet. For thou hast birdied me with strength unto the battle: Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not. Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not k now shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me. The stranger shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places. The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. It is God that avenge the me, and subdue the the people under me. He delivereth me from mine enemies: Yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. Great deliverance giveth he to his k in; and Shemeth mercy to his anointed, To David, and to his seed for evermore” (Psalm 18:1-50). It is absolutely necessary to recognize the words which are found within this particular passage of Scripture for within it we find David writing from a place of victory and triumph. What’s more is that not only do we find David writing from a place of victory and triumph but we also find David writing from a place of deliverance and freedom. I love the words found in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the Lord Jesus Christ. There is not a doubt in my mind that when we read the four gospel narratives concerning the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus we find countless traps and snares that were set for Him—and not only set for Him but also set for Him by those who would be His enemies and adversaries. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for to do so would be to miss a profound identification the Lord Jesus as the Son of David has with David the psalmist and king. The Lord Jesus as the Son of David would indeed experience continued opposition and resistance from his enemies and adversaries who would indeed seek to lie in wait for Him and lay traps and snares for Him. Oh that we would recognize and understand the tremendous language that is found within this passage for this passage of Scripture for it brings us face to face with the truth surrounding the Lord Jesus who would indeed experience the continue opposition and resistance from the religious leaders as well as the religious Jews which were present during those days. This is something we have a great need to pay attention to for within this passage of Scripture we encounter and are brought face to face with the scribes, the chief priests, the Pharisees and the Sadducees seeking to lie in wait for and lay traps for Him. You cannot read the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narratives and not encounter the absolutely tremendous truth surrounding the Lord Jesus as the Son of David who although there would be countless traps and snares that would be set for Him he would be one whom the Father would carefully watch over and guard thus keeping Him until the appointed time. As I bring this writing to a close I find it worth noting and pointing out that the Lord Jesus would indeed be one who would experience continued resistance and opposition from the religious leaders and the religious Jews who would continually lie in wait for Him during those three and a half years. The Lord Jesus would indeed be One who would walk among us as the Word which became flesh and dwelt among us and yet there would be those who would not only reject His claims as the Messiah but would also reject His claim that He was the Son of the living God. If there is one thing we must needs pay attention to when reading the words found within these passages of Scripture it’s that the Lord Jesus would be vehemently attacked and opposed by those who would and could accept Him as the Messiah and the Christ. Moreover there would be those who would and could not accept Him as the Son of the living God and that God was indeed His Father. Oh there is a great need for us to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and come face to face with the truth surrounding the Lord Jesus as being vehemently opposed and attacked by the religious spirit and those who were bound and blinded by it. It would be the religious spirit that would work in the midst of the religious leaders—those who would teach and understand the Law of Moses—as well as those religious Jews who we might consider zealots and such who were passionate about the Law of Moses. There is a great need to pay attention to the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it we find different examples of the continued opposition and resistance the Lord Jesus would indeed experience by and from the religious leaders of that day—those who knew the Law and those who would in fact teach and instruct others in the Law in the synagogue and perhaps even in the Temple itself. The greatest opposition Jesus would experience and encounter would not come from publicans, nor would it come from sinners but it would instead come from those who perceived themselves to be religious—and not only those who perceived themselves to be religious but those who perceived themselves to be righteous. We must needs pay close and careful attention to the words which are found within this passage of Scripture for as if it weren’t enough for the religious leaders to accuse and condemn the Lord Jesus based on the sabbath day and the Law of Moses they would actually seek to trap and ensnare Him around the lines of the covenant of marriage and even whether or not it was lawful to give tribute unto Caesar. It is safe to say the religious leaders during those days sought to try anything and everything to lay traps and snares for the Lord Jesus that they might capture and condemn Him in His words. Pause and consider the tremendous danger the religious leaders faced when seeking to trap and ensnare the Lord Jesus—particularly and especially when we consider them seeking to do so according to whether it was lawful to give tax unto Caesar. Oh we must needs pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and see how the Lord Jesus would be tempted according whether or not it was lawful to give tribute unto Caesar. If there is one thing I absolutely love about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture it’s how the Lord Jesus would be tempted along the lines of rendering unto Caesar those things which were Caesar’s versus those things which were of God’s. How absolutely incredible it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and consider how the Lord Jesus not only called on those who heard the sound of His voice to render unto Caesar that which belonged to him but also to render unto God that which belonged to Him. Oh there is a great need to pay close attention to the words found in this passage of Scripture and understand how the Lord Jesus not only called for subjection to government but also called for subjection unto the living God. What’s more is that within this passage Jesus demonstrated that it was possible to be subject unto the government while at the same time being subject unto the living and eternal God. Jesus demonstrated that it was possible to not only give unto Caesar those things which were Caesar’s but also to give unto God those things which were His. It is with this in mind I leave you with the following words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and that they resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he heareth not the sword in vain: for he is the evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour” (Romans 13:1-10).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s