Sunday, October 30, 2016

Jesus and the Pharisees

In Matthew chapter eleven we find Jesus again in conflict with the religious leaders of his time.  Listen to Him:

"To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:
 We played the pipe for you,
    and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
    and you did not mourn. " (Matthew 11:17,18)

These children playing these tunes are the Pharisees and scribes.

They are playing the pipe to which John will not dance, eschewing a life of ease for the desert experiences.  They are playing the dirge, for Jesus lives a life style which they perceive to be in violation of the law.  By the law they mean not the ten commandments, but the entire body of "law" as developed over the centuries by the religious leaders.

With these hyper-religious fanatics the only way to "win" is to toe the line they draw.  Yet John did not dance, nor did Jesus mourn.

This chapter ends with these words of the Master:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)

Bible quotes from the NIV.

Some commentators suggest that Jesus in quoting the verse about the children playing is borrowing from Aesop's fable of the fisherman piping.

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