Scripture about tree bearing fruit

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Scripture about tree bearing fruit)

[13] I recall a previous experience.

[14] Sufficient unto God.

## Day 140

### Pharisee and Tax Collector

#### ( Matthew 8:4–13)

[4] He went home and summoned the disciples and said to them, "I have been with you so long, and you have never chosen me, but the Scriptures have been fulfilled that say, 'I will destroy this temple made by hands, and within three days I will build another made by hands'" [5] Then the disciples and a large crowd of Jews from the places around Jerusalem came to listen to him.

[6] But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone discovered who this man was, he should be killed. [7] So they were looking for a way to trap him by asking him to show them the place where he had been praying.

[8] But he gave them strict orders not to tell him the place, [9] and he was leaving them, when one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, [10] asked, "Who is it that he is talking about?" [11] So he said, "You know nothing about this man—[12] nor did you see anything in him, except that his hands are dirty."

[13] But the chief priests and the Pharisees answered him, "Are we to understand that he has become a disciple of Jesus?"

[14] "Yes," he replied, "and you will see greater things than those."

As a Pharisee, this man was above the disciples, and Jesus took this opportunity to reveal the inherent hypocrisy of the Pharisees. This is the first story of its kind to record the baptism of Jesus. From the very beginning of Jesus' public ministry, his disciples functioned much like a messianic sect. Yet, this disciple failed to observe Jewish law and was prepared to cut himself off from his followers. The fear of being "found out" (see comments at 6:1) motivated him to "lie low" (see comments at 6:16). In this context, "disciples" refers to the group that followed Jesus. Caiaphas was chief priest during the reign of the emperor Pontius Pilate, a fact Luke 8:54 alludes to. He had complete control over the Sanhedrin (Israel's highest Jewish court, see comments on 4:1, see also the note on Luke 3:1). Luke's reference to his "high priestly functions" may allude to his role as the ruler of the people. Because of this kind of power and influence, he may have desired to win the favor of Jesus by taking a bold initiative.

The rest of the passage records an unsuccessful attempt to out Jesus. Jesus was not isolated from the powerful in Israel. Nevertheless, the power behind Jesus was indeed seated at the right hand of God. Jesus now held sway over the religious establishment as well. As chief priest of his day, Caiaphas played a pivotal role in the formulation and preservation of Jewish law (see comments on 4:1, see also the note on Luke 3:1). His desire to impress Jesus may have resulted from Jesus' growing influence over Israel's religious leadership and his success in fulfilling the Mosaic prophecy about his coming kingdom.

Caiaphas's history of leadership shows a familiarity with the law. Caiaphas demonstrated a sharp awareness of the law (5:17). Though we often criticize the self-righteous ways of the Pharisees, a good friend to the law that the Pharisees championed was Caiaphas. Like Jesus, he was not above the law (see comments on 5:17).

Not only did Caiaphas fear the power that Jesus possessed (see comments on 1:21, 5:17), but he feared that Jesus would end up replacing him as ruler of Israel. He believed the reign of a kingdom under the hand of Jesus was a threat to the political unity of Israel. He did not recognize that Jesus was bringing Israel new kingship under God.

To clarify their plan, the leaders of the synagogue call Jesus to witness that they are seeking a man who is a teacher of the law and is known to teach within Jerusalem (v.7). The verb translated "known" can refer to a specific person or to a general condition. "Teacher of the law" (tat teknion touto) means an authority on Judaism's sacred text, the Torah. The Jewish people gathered together to hear Jesus' teaching (v.8). The crowd from "around Jerusalem" (v.9) may have been located at the northern and southern gates of Jerusalem or on the temple grounds (see comment on 3:2). These crowds were interested in Jesus' activity and were in need of his instruction.

The opposition of the priests is evident by the use of the singular pronoun "they." Luke suggests the priestly group included Caiaphas (see note on v.6). Caiaphas was feared for his high political position and his access to the emperor (5:10–11). The leaders had gathered the people to trap Jesus so they could kill him.

Caiaphas spoke the words of Jesus in order to manipulate Jesus into a mistake (v.10). The word "show" (hypo tou) suggests that this conversation occurred outdoors or in a public place (see note on v.

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