13.03.01 Introduction

13.03.01 Introduction

Bill Heinrich  -  Dec 22, 2015  -  Comments Off on 13.03.01 Introduction

13.03.01 Introduction

The similarities between the sacrificial lamb and the Passion Week of Jesus are astounding.  Just as each family’s sacrificial lamb was examined for any possible imperfections, so likewise, Jesus was examined by the Pharisees for any possible “imperfections” (violations of the Written and Oral Laws). Both examiners looked for reasons to reject the “offering.”  Just as every small sacrificial lamb lived in a Jewish home and was loved by a Jewish family between the tenth and fourteenth of Nissan, so likewise, Jesus was in Jerusalem where He was loved by thousands between the tenth and fourteenth of Nissan.


From Bethany Jesus returned to the temple where Jewish leaders approached to examine Him. In their minds, the only authorized teachers were those who had graduated from a recognized theological school; they had “rabbinic authority.” Jesus obviously had not graduated from one of their schools and, therefore, another examination of the Miracle Worker was required.  Ironically, while they examined Him, in reality, it was they who were being examined. There were four examinations of Jesus that were parallel to the examinations of the lambs that occurred in Jewish homes at this same time. The religious leaders were looking for any possible imperfection in His theology, lifestyle, or intentions.[1]  They had two goals in mind:


  1. To find any issue by which they could bring Jesus before the Romans for execution. This was by far their primary objective.


  1. To find any substantial evidence they could present to the crowds, since His popularity was growing exponentially. But that goal was hindered by the ongoing problem, that due to corruption in the ranks of the Sadducees and leading Pharisees, the people were greatly displeased with their religious leadership. Therefore, their ability to persuade anyone was limited.


A summary of the four examinations is as follows:


  1. The first examination was by the priests (Sadducees) and elders (Pharisees) on Tuesday, April 4, the 12th day of Nisan. They desired to uncover cause for which to accuse Jesus before the Romans and discredit Him before the people. However, in that conversation Jesus responded by presenting three parables: The Parable of the Two Sons (Mt. 21:28-31; 13.03.03), The Parable of the Householder (Mt. 21:33-41; 13.03.04), and the Parable of the Wedding (Mt. 21:1-14; 13.03.07).


  1. The second examination was by the Herodians who desired to present Jesus before the Roman on the grounds of treason. Any charge of rebellion or failure to pay taxes qualified. So they presented the fundamental question on whether it was proper to pay taxes to Caesar (Mt. 22:20).


  1. Then the Sadducees returned for a third examination. They asked Jesus a question pertaining to eternal life (Lk. 20:28-33), something that they themselves did not believe in. Jesus responded with Exodus 3:6-7.


  1. After the Sadducees, the leading Pharisees returned for the fourth and final examination of the day. They were legalists who knew that Jesus highly prized the Written Law over their Oral Law. So they asked which was the most important law (Mk. 12:28-34). They agreed with His response and evidently, from this point on they abandoned their attempts to trap Him.

[1]. For an exhaustive study on this subject, see Fruchtenbaum, The Jewish Foundation of the Life of Messiah: Instructor’s Manual. Class 25ff.


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