By Terry Loving
The Holy Gospel of John: Chapter 9
The Pharisees were one of the principle religious sects of the Old Testament – during the time of Jesus. They were best known for religious ceremonial-ism, and their self-imposed piety. In other words, they thought they were better than common folk, and looked down their noses at anyone not of their religious party. They believed in immortality, and the resurrection of the body – but they didn’t accept Jesus as the Messiah. Christian husbands who beat their wives are akin to the Pharisees of old – they practice religion, yet lack a true relationship with Jesus Christ.
In John chapter 8, the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus. We can only imagine the terror in this woman’s heart – the penalty for adultery was death by stoning. And here she was placed, “in the center of the court,” absorbing the guilt of her actions, and those of the man with whom she was having illegal relations. Hhhhhmmmm, and where was the other guilty party?
Bringing this woman to Jesus was more of a test. The Pharisees wanted to see whose side He was really on – the Law, or speaking from His own heart. They didn’t understand that He spoke as His Father directed Him to do so, (John 14:10). Which by the way is the same God of Heaven that the Pharisees claimed to worship. The woman was more or less a pawn in their wicked game seeking to accuse Jesus of blasphemy. Our Lord said nothing at first, but kneeled and wrote in the sand. When they pressed Jesus for a reply, He said to the crowd:
“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (NASB)
I imagine as the saying goes, “You could hear a pin drop.” For verse 9 says: “When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.” Did you notice as the crowd dispersed, the “older ones,” left first? Could it be that since they had lived the longest, their list of un-repented sins was much more extensive? Jesus certainly knew how to prick the heart.
When a Christian husband tells his wife, “God is not pleased with you,” he is taking Pharisee-ism one-step further by standing in judgment over slight infractions, and sentencing his wife to punishment by means of violence and abuse. Nowhere in the Bible will you find scriptures that permit a husband to chastise his wife for any reason. You will find scriptures that admonish husbands to “love their wives,” and give themselves up for them, but never permission to batter and abuse. Please read Ephesians chapter 5.
“The Pharisees laid their chief stress on outward observances, neglecting the weightier matters of the moral law, and the spiritual meaning of their legal ceremonies. Others of them were detestable hypocrites, making their pretences to holiness a cloak for iniquity.” 1
IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME
Christian husbands who entrap their wives in violent homes demand “submission,” – while ignoring the umbrella of “submission” that applies to both husband and wife, (Ephesians 5:21). Quite like the Pharisees, abusive husbands poison their own religious principles through invalidation of the Word of God. How? By doing exactly as they please – making up their own rules. Matthew chapter 15 is a very good example.
In this chapter, Jesus was showing the Pharisees what “hypocrites” there were. They were being admonished for violating “the direct commands of God.” He reminded them of God’s fifth commandment to “Honor your father and mother; anyone who reviles his parents must die,” (The Living Bible). Now listen to what the Pharisees say about God’s commandment:
“But you say, ‘Even if your parents are in need, you may give their support money to the church instead.’”
The New American Standard Bible states it this way: “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God, he is not to honor his father or his mother” (by supporting them). Instead, they gave the support money as an “offering,” or a “gift” to the church.
By not honoring their parents and taking care of them as commanded – if need be – Jesus said, “And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” “You hypocrites…”
The man who stands in the pulpit is just as guilty – perhaps more so as any Christian who abuses his spouse – or his household, period! How can the church show the world that Jesus is the Light of the world, the Savior of the world, when domestic violence and abuse are running rampant in the church house? Is it any wonder that the world frowns upon Christianity and wants nothing to do with Jesus Christ? The world will never get it right until the Christian church gets it right. There is no other way.
We as Christians can be hypocrites in many ways. However, once we realize our faults, repent and turn back to God, He will still be willing to love us, and use us for the greater good. Jesus would probably ask the husbands that practice domestic violence, and claim to love Him – “Are you without sin?” Is your worship in vain? Are you following the “precepts of men? Or, are you doing what is “right in your own eyes?” (Deuteronomy 12:8)
“REPENT! FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND”
Forsake the Pharisee Syndrome and live.
“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
- The Greatest Book Ever Written (bookstove.com)
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