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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - A Lesson Learned From Pharisees

Rabbi Schneider - A Lesson Learned From Pharisees

Rabbi Schneider - A Lesson Learned From Pharisees

One of the more climactic episodes that we read about in the Gospel of John is what took place between Yeshua and the religious leaders after Jesus healed a man that was blind from birth on the Sabbath. You have to wonder why Jesus did so many of His miracles on the Sabbath. It almost seems like He wanted to be confrontational. Remember at one point they questioned Him about healing on the Sabbath and Jesus said, you know, if your sheep fell in a hole on the Sabbath, if your animal fell in a hole on the Sabbath, wouldn't you reach down and save his life and pull him out of the pit? If you'll do that, shouldn't I heal on the Sabbath? In other words, Yeshua is driving home the point that the Sabbath is about healing. That the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. But Yeshua did many miracles on the Sabbath which infuriated the religious leaders. They thought, how can this man be from God since He's, quote, "working on the Sabbath"? So to them, healing was working.

Now, I wanna give you a little bit of a creative context for this, why it was so infuriating for the religious leaders when Jesus would heal on the Sabbath. At another point, remember Jesus says disciples, were walking through a field on Shabbat and they reached down and picked up a piece of grain and then they accused Jesus and His followers of harvesting on the Sabbath. So how did this climate of religiosity get built up around the Sabbath? So in religious Judaism, there's what's called the written law, which is the Torah which we have recorded in the first five books of our Bible, the books of Moses or the Pentateuch. We have the written law and then rabbinic Judaism also believes that there is an oral law.

Now, what religious Judaism believes, including these Pharisees of Yeshua's day, who by the way are the origin of today's Orthodox Judaism, today's Orthodox Judaism, or rabbinic Judaism really finds its origin in the Pharisees of Jesus' day. What they believed was that when Moses went up on top of Mount Sinai, he didn't just receive the Ten Commandments or the written law, but that the Lord also, they believe, communicated to Moses a lot of other information that wasn't written down, but instead was passed down orally from Moses to the leaders of Israel and then from one generation down successively to the next. It's called the oral law. Why oral law? Because it wasn't written, it was passed down orally.

In the book of Mark 7, this oral law that I'm referring to was referred to as the tradition of the elders. So when you read in Mark 7, when the Pharisees came to Jesus and His disciples and they accused them of not washing their hands before eating, Jesus said to them, why do you teach your own traditions as if they're doctrines from God, neglecting the doctrine of God for the sake of your own tradition? So this concept of washing hands and Jesus mentioned cleaning pots and pitchers, this was part of the oral law that we see happening throughout the New Testament, this kind of conflict between the Pharisees and Jesus regarding the Sabbath and other issues was because the Pharisees believed in these rules that are part of the oral law.

Now, the oral law, I know this is a bit of technical information, but just a little bit of history here, began to be written down in around the year 200 AD. It was finished around 500 AD and it is known as... the oral law that's written and the commentary on it is called the Talmud. And so for example, today's rabbinic rabbis, they spent a lot of time studying this oral law, they study the Talmud, the oral law and the commentary on it called the Talmud. So this pertains to what was going on here in John 9, where they accused Jesus of healing on the Sabbath because in the oral law, they had all types of rules and regulations about what kind of work could be done and what type of work could not be done on the Sabbath.

So here's how the logic goes. We know in the written law, God said thou shall not work on the Sabbath, right? Six days work may be done, but the seventh day is a day of rest, it's holy to the Lord, no work shall be done. We all know that. But the question that anybody that's serious about keeping that commandment will begin to ask themselves is, what is work? See, because the written law doesn't tell us what work is, it just says don't work, but then we start asking ourselves questions like, "Okay, is it okay to go fishing on the Sabbath?" you might think. "Is it okay to, you know, to draw pictures, you know, paint on the Sabbath"?

So there's all types of questions that people might have. Is it okay to do this? Is it okay to do that? Well, they think, well, this isn't work for me, this is relaxing for me. So, well, the Pharisees, they asked themselves that question: what is prohibited? So they found a clue because the Torah told us and tells us that the Israelites needed to stop construction of the tabernacle that we read about in Exodus chapter 25. It's a blueprint for having intimacy with God. The Lord said to Moses, "I want you to build me this mishkan, which is the Hebrew word for tabernacle, that I might dwell with you".

So God had them build this tabernacle. It was a place where God met with His people. They traveled with it through the wilderness. And then when the Israelites eventually got to Israel, they took the pattern of the tabernacle and they turned it into a permanent structure that's the temple. So the Lord gave this blueprint to Moses about how to build the tabernacle. The Lord said, "Build it exactly going to the pattern that I'm gonna show you". But the Lord said, when the Sabbath comes, stop working on it. I don't want you working on that tabernacle on the seventh day. So the Jews, the religious Jews, they said, well, there's a clue right there because we know that whatever type of work went into the building of the tabernacle, we shouldn't do that kind of work on the Sabbath because the Lord said, "Don't do work on the tabernacle".

So they theorized there are over 30 different kinds of work that they came up with that were being done in the construction of the tabernacle. For example, ripping fabrics or animal skins. So one of the rules of keeping Shabbat for Orthodox Jews is there could be no ripping. So very Orthodox Jews they'll even pre-cut their toilet paper because they don't wanna break the Sabbath. So this is a type of mindset that Jesus was dealing with. So this is why they were accusing Him of breaking the Sabbath for healing on the Sabbath. And of course, Jesus answered it and said, listen, you know, Father's working till now, I'm working. Releasing healing on the seventh day of the week, it's not working. When the light is here, then I must walk in the light.

So Jesus is in this conflict and the word was spreading that He had healed this blind man. It was undeniable. Everybody knew this blind man because the blind man was blind from birth. So they called the blind man and they started questioning him. And they said to him, you know, who is the One that healed you? "'Where is He?' They said to him, 'Where is He?' And the blind man said, 'I do not know.'" I'm in verse 13 of John 9.

"They brought to the Pharisees, the man who was formerly blind. Now it was Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, 'He applied clay to my eyes and I washed and I see.' Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, 'This man is not from God because He does not keep the Sabbath.' But others were saying, 'How can a man who's a sinner perform such signs?' And there was a division among them. So they said to the blind man again, 'What do you say about Him since He opened your eyes?' And he said, 'He's a prophet.' The Jews then did not believe it of him..." Because you know what, you're not gonna believe what you don't wanna believe no matter how much proof there is. Let me say that again. People will not believe what they don't want to believe. If they don't wanna believe something, you can argue with them until you're blue in the face, you can go through every argument in the world with them, they're not gonna believe because it's a matter of the will, they don't want to.

"The Jews then did not believe it of him, that he had been blind and received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight and questioned them saying, 'Is this your son whom you say was born blind? How does he now see?' His parents answered them and said, 'We know that this is our son and that he was born blind, but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.' His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. For this reason, his parents said, 'He is of age, ask him.' So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, 'Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.' He then answered, 'Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.'"

And I said at the end of the last broadcast on the subject, that's one thing that people can't argue with is your testimony. Just tell people what Jesus has done for you and that you love Him, that He's brought you comfort, that He's given you peace. Whatever He's done for you, just tell people about Him. That's your testimony. "He answered them, 'I told you already and you did not listen..." Then the blind man begins to taunt him. "The blind man says, 'I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?'"

It's like he's laughing at them almost. "They reviled him and said, 'You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He's from.' The man answered and said to them, 'Well, here's an amazing thing, that you do not know where He's from and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not hear sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. Since the beginning of time it has never been heard of that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man,' the blind man said, 'we're not from God, He could do nothing.'"

Notice the Pharisees' response. I love it. It's comical to me. "They answered him, 'You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?' So they put him out". It's just so comical the childish behavior, you know, when they can't get a grip of the situation based on logic and truth and every rational means possible, their only means is to lash out in ignorance. "They answered him, 'You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us? So they put him out.'" You know, there's a word for that. It's called P-R-I-D-E. I wonder how much sometimes our pride gets in the way of our receiving proof from somebody else.

Let's continue on. "Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, 'Do you believe in the Son of Man?'" Now, many of you know that this term by which Yeshua described Himself, Son of man, this is the term that Daniel used when Daniel described the end of days and Daniel saw a vision. First of all, he saw a tremendous heartache happening in the world. Then he saw a vision. And in the vision, he said he saw one like the Son of man. So this term right here, Son of man, this is the term that Daniel used. He said he saw one like the Son of man coming up to the ancient of days. And that's the Father of the ancient of days. And to Him, to the Son of man, the Father gave the kingdom and the power and dominion.

It's an amazing vision where Daniel literally sees the Son of man, Yeshua, going before the Father and the Father giving him all the kingdoms of the world. And also it's interesting to me that Yeshua quotes Daniel when in Matthew 24, Jesus' disciples asked Jesus, hey listen, when are you gonna come again and what are gonna be the signs of your coming at the end of the age? And Jesus answers them and He says, "It's as the prophet Daniel said..." And then Jesus refers to Daniel's words about the abomination of desolation.

So, Daniel saw Jesus, Daniel knew what he was talking about in his writings and he used the term the Son of man. So let's continue in the text, verse 36. The blind man is answering back to Jesus now when Jesus said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of man"? "The blind man responds back to Yeshua and says, 'Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?' Jesus said to him, 'You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.' And he said, 'Lord, I believe.' And he worshiped Him".

That's an amazing truth right here. The blind man worshiped Him. Yeshua didn't tell the blind man not to worship Him. You know, when angels appeared to people in the scriptures and mortal men fell on their faces and began to worship the angels, you know what the angels said? "Don't worship me, I'm an angel". But when this blind man fell down to His knees and worshiped Jesus, Yeshua received his worship. Why? Because he that worships the Father also worships the Son because they're the same essence and they're both part of the triune Godhead.

Yeshua continued, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see might see, and that those who see may become blind". In other words, Jesus came to turn the world upside down, the first to be last and the last to be first. "Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, 'We are not blind too, are we?' Jesus said to them, 'If you were blind, you'd have no sin. But since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains.'"

There's a great lesson here. That if we will humble ourselves, if we, beloved ones, will humble ourselves and be truthful with God and be truthful with ourselves, instead of playing the blame game all the time and making excuses, Jesus would heal us and we'd see. Yeshua said to them, if you would say that you're blind, Yeshua said, if you would say that you're blind, you wouldn't have sin. I would heal you and forgive you. But because he was saying to the Pharisees, "You won't humble yourselves, you won't look at yourself honestly, you won't look at Me honestly, you won't look at truth honestly, because you won't open up your heart to the truth but remain hardened in your pride and your arrogance and your sin," Jesus said, "you're gonna die in your sin".

And even us as Christians, we have to be so careful about our pride. We have to be willing to look at ourselves. I mean, a lot of times people criticize us. I'm talking about you and me. And the reason that they're criticizing us, it's not coming from a good place in them. I mean, I receive a lot of criticism. If I look at comments anywhere, on YouTube, anywhere I go, there's gonna be people, no matter what I say, they're gonna criticize me. If I say left, they say, you should have said right. If I say right, they say, you should have said left. If I don't say this, they say, you should have said that. If I say that, they say, you shouldn't have said. You know, there's no way you're gonna win. And these people, they're just haters, you know? They're just haters.

So a lot of people that criticize us are coming from a bad place. But you know what we have to do? We have to be open before the Lord, knowing that even when people are coming from a bad place, if they say something to us, we have to ask the Lord, Lord, is there any truth in what this person is saying about me? Lord, is there sin in me? That person might just wanna hurt me. But is there some truth in what they're saying? Because sometimes the Lord will allow us to be attacked unjustly because He wants to expose something in us. And if we'll be willing to be open and say, yes, Lord, you know, that is true. I do have a problem with pride or with arrogance, or I am stubborn, or I always do have to be right, or I'm not as sensitive as I should be to other people, or I'm impatient, or I'm self... whatever it is. I'm just saying, if we'll be willing to admit our sin, we're gonna get healed.

Jesus said, If you say you have no sin, your sin's gonna remain. But the scripture says, if we confess our sin, He's faithful and just to forgive us our sin, beloved one, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We should always be examining ourselves, not in a morbid way, but in a way that we're open to the Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit's always gonna be showing us more and more truth about ourselves, things that need to be cleansed.

And when we say yes to Him, you're right, Lord. If we simply say, you're right, Lord, forgive me and help me to change, you know what's gonna happen? We're gonna be changed from glory to glory. We're gonna go from strength to strength and be released into more and more peace and freedom. Let's not be like these prideful, hardneck, stubborn Pharisees who had the proof right in front of their face, but because of their own pride, they wouldn't believe and resisted it. Let's be open to God. Let's be like little children. And whatever He says, let's say, yes, Lord. Thank you, Lord, for your mercy for me. Thank you for Your love for me. Continue to conform me to the image of Your Son. Father, thank You for loving me so much that You chose me to be conformed to the image of King Jesus.
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