Jesus and teachers of the Law

We need Holy Spirit filled theologians who love the Lord and the Word.

Jesus did not have an easy relationship with the teachers of the Law.  It had to do with what they taught and how it might lead people astray.

  • On occasion Jesus said, ’Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You shut the Kingdom of heaven in men’s faces.  You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.’ 1
  • On another occasion Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.’ 2

That brings us to two questions:

  • Do all ‘teachers of the law’ (theologians in our times) fall into the category of Matthew 23:13?
  • Did Jesus mean we don’t need teachers of the Law, or theologians?  No!

#  Some theologians (‘Bible teachers’) do ‘shut the Kingdom of heaven in men’s faces.’

They always criticise and find so-called mistakes in the Bible.  For example,

  • The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary discusses the book of Ezekiel.  The unity and authenticity of this Bible book was not seriously attacked until comparatively recent times.
  • Gustav Hoelscher dissected the book of Ezekiel.  He stated that not much more that one-tenth of it is authentic – only the few rhythmical sections.  He assumed that the prose parts were added by fifth-century authors.
  • Unger mentions more critics and concludes, ‘Criticism of Ezekiel illustrates the wearisome story of negative criticism.’ Criticism is not limited only to the book of Ezekiel, but to all the 66 books of the Bible.

#  We need Holy Spirit filled theologians.

If a theologian is filled with the Holy Spirit, he or she loves the Lord and the Word.  Their enthusiasm for the Kingdom inspires us to study Scripture and to love the Lord.  Teachers of the law who love the Lord are a boon to the Church.

Conclusion

Listen to these wonderful words, ‘For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction, for he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty.’ Jesus made us aware of the enemies of the cross, who masquerade as apostles of the Lord.  The Bible calls them ‘false apostles, deceitful workmen.’ 5  We will do well to be aware of them in 2017.

References

  1. Matthew 23:13
  2. Matthew 11:25
  3. MF Unger, The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (RK Harrison, editor), Moody Press, Chicago, 1988, p 390-391
  4. Malachi 2:7
  5. 2 Corinthians 11:13

Author: Gerard and Alida

As you can see in the photo, there are two of us. We live and work together 24/7, studying and enjoying our grandchildren. Our passion is to know and understand what will happen after death. Is there a way to provide for and invest in that?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s