In this lesson (Luke 5:17-26), we look at the opponents of Jesus, and the relationship
between sickness and sin.
i. Pharisees were one of the three prominent religious societies at the time of Jesus.
ii. Not only they were opponents of Christ, but also opponents to Sadducees and Rabbis.
iii. This group was resembled as far back as the Babylonian Captivity. This group originated in the period of the Maccabean revolt (166-159 BC).
iv. Pharisee means the separated ones. Probably the name was given by Sadducees, who thought of them as opposed to their ways.
v. The extreme separatism was manifested through such behavior as not touching the carcass of a dead animal or those who had come into contact with such things. Also, they had no association with people who had been defiled through sickness.
vi. They had a zeal for legal debate and for keeping alive the tradition of meditation and study of Torah, the Jewish. Their interpretation of law was written in Mishnah.
vii. Although in many places of the gospels Pharisees were portrayed
as "bad guys," some Pharisees played vital roles in
early Christian church, including Nicodemus (John 3:1; 7:50, 51;
19:39), Gamaliel, who publicly defended the Apostles before the
Sanhedrin (Acts 5:34-40); Joseph of Arimathea (Matt. 27:57; Mark
15:43; Luke 23:50; John 19:38), and certainly the Apostle Paul.
Paul used the title "Pharisee" of himself as a name
of honor and respect: "As to the law [I am] a Pharisee."
i. Scribes were experts of law. The Pharisees were of a religious party while the scribes held an office. The majority of the scribes belong to the Pharisee party which recognized the legal interpretations of the law.
ii. The scribes originated in the pre-exile days when it came the professions of public writers, government secretaries, and copiers of law and other documents (Jer. 32:12-15; 36:26; 2 Kings 18:18; Jer. 36:12).
iii. Scribes believed in legalism and set many "dos and don'ts" to the Jewish society.
iv. They received the deep respect of the people, as indicated in the honorable term "rabbi," meaning "my master," and dressed in long robes like the nobility.
v. Scribes only interpreted, but did not create laws. The dispute
between Jesus and Scribes was that Jesus, as the Messiah, had
authority to make law (e.g. Matt. 7:29; Mark 1:22; Matt. 12:8--authority
over Sabbath; Matt 9:6, authority to pardon).
A. In the Bible, there are some obvious indications that sickness
is cased by sin (Num 12:10-15; James 5:14-15). Like demonology
to mental disorder, the notion that sinning to bodily diseases
dominated Europe for more than a thousand year.
B. However, the Bible does not mandate that illness is necessarily
resulted from spiritual corruption. There are 22 records of sickness
in the Bible, but only three of those cases are described as consequences
of sins (2 King 5:25-27; 2 Chr. 21:12-19). Once Jesus came across
a man who was blind since birth, and He said, "Neither this
man nor his parents sinned, but the works of God should be revealed
in him." (John 9:1-3) Paul also suffered from optical deficiency,
however, God did not cure him although he prayed for the removal
of this pain three times (2 Cor. 12:7-10).