Tempting Him

Matthew 22:34-36. “But when the Pharisees had heard that He had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked Him a question, tempting Him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”

 There is so much drama in these scenes.  I would love to have been watching and listening from some little corner as Jesus shut down His enemies, one by one.  They kept coming back for more, and they kept being sent away in consternation.

This time,  a Pharisee who was a lawyer approached Jesus with one of the hot topics of his day. There were various arguments among the scribes and the lawyers as to which commandment in the law held the indisputable place of being the most important.  This lawyer was asking Jesus to take sides, hoping to turn one faction or the other against Himself.

Things aren’t much different today, are they?  We’re still nattering on at each other, in Christian circles, about so many things that should never be a point of controversy. I know I’m stepping into hot water here, but one of the prime examples that comes to mind is the old Calvinism (now known as Reformed Theology) versus Arminianism debate.  I remember hearing the preacher boys in my Bible college going on and on about this one, debating into the wee hours of the morning.  It was never resolved, never will be. It stirred up a lot of emotion, usually negative, and sometimes even called one’s intelligence into question. And, in my never-to-be-humble opinion, it was a waste of time.  That’s just one example. There are a zillion others. We peck each other to death in our “right-fighting” when we should be far more focused on reaching people with the gospel.

Jesus refused to enter the debate. Tomorrow we’ll look at His response.

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