[The following scripture passages and questions are here to guide you in your thinking. The questions are not answered. If you are truly seeking, you will sense God guiding you. You will see and understand those things which are most needful for you. And, most importantly, you will know that God cares for you.]
John 8:12 “Jesus spoke to them saying, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
“Them”: the Pharisees.
The Pharisees were a sect. They were the greatest persecutors of the Lord Jesus Christ. Practicing morality and zealousness but missing the moral nature of the Scriptures and the Law of God, they were self-righteous and had no personal sense of their own sin and need. They invented and enforced traditions that they burdened the people of Israel with. Those traditions were supposed to be like a fence around the Law, supposedly protecting it from being broken. The Pharisees had great influence over the people and gloried in their imagined superiority. They quickly and severely punished those who did not abide by their traditions and authority as supposedly holy men of God.
Jesus did not seek the approval of the Pharisees. He did not attend their schools nor consider their traditions to have been authorized by God. He exposed their hypocrisy and did not recognize their religious authority. For this, the Pharisees opposed and persecuted him. They sought to trick him into saying and doing that which would justify them condemning him to death. They hounded him to the cross.
Read John 1: 1-13
In this passage Jesus Christ is described as:
- The Word and equal with God.
- The Creator of the world.
- The Source of life.
- The Light of the World.
John 1: 9-13: “The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Question: Were the Pharisees the children of God? Why or why not?
Question: Some of today’s religious scholars say that all religions are relevant as ways to God, that Christianity is just one of the ways. The Pharisees were a Jewish sect that had a high view of the Bible, practiced morality, and had a form of worship. If they were rejected by Jesus Christ, could any other religion be acceptable to God?
Question: What is the only way to become children of God and walk in the Light? (Read John 8: 24)
John 3:19: “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.”
Today there are those who have a form of godliness but deny the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Bible. The Christ that they recognize is different from the one described in the scriptures. The way of salvation they teach is one of religious works. The leaders of this false Christianity seek to reign over their congregations, qualifying or disqualifying the people based on their adherence to the leader’s viewpoints and agenda. They present themselves as lights showing the way for the ignorant. They highly prize the praise of men and do not care about the praise of God.
2 Timothy 3: 1-5 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.