Showdown In Jerusalem.
It appears that the Pharisees have tried to avoid Jesus, letting every other religious leader do the challenging. We’ve seen chief priests, elders, Pharisaic disciples, Herodians and Sadducees; but it’s down to the Pharisees.
And if the Pharisees are going to challenge Jesus, clearly they’re going to have to choose a mental juggernaut. Verse 35 says, “One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:”
What question will he ask?
What question does this expert of the Law throw out? Verse 36, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Going for the jugular; the greatest commandment?
In the Mosaic Law, the Pharisees had identified 613 laws into affirmative and negative groups. They held that there were 247 affirmative laws and 365 negative laws. Out of the entirety of the Mosaic Law, which verse should Jesus choose?
Can you imagine the intensity?
Seriously, what are Jesus disciples saying to themselves? Peter was probably fairly confident. After working over all the other religious leaders, Peter was likely ready for this debate. You know he wanted to say something, but at this point he knew his place.
Thomas may have had his doubts. But John was likely consoling him a bit? “It’ll be okay Thomas. Jesus knows what he’s doing.”
For a moment, Judas maybe found himself on the other side of the circle. Maybe Matthew set him straight? “Get back here behind Jesus!”
Try to imagine the Pharisees’ disciples?
You know they still had hurt feelings from the Herodian experience, early in chapter 22. Maybe they were gazing at Jesus disciples? “Your Rabbi’s going down!”
What about the crowd? Would they place bets on Rabbi showdowns? Considering Jesus winning streak, the stakes would have been high?
Maybe this drama is a stretch?
But sometimes it’s good to use our imagination to help us enjoy and remember Scriptural events. And over this week, we’re going to be doing just that!
We’re going to continue unpacking this show-down between the Expert of the Law and Jesus. To make sure you don’t miss Acts 2 and 3, click HERE and subscribe to get further posts straight to your inbox.
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Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
In your opinion, how would the disciples and/or the crowd react to the discussion between Jesus and the expert of the Law, found in Matthew 22?