Posts Tagged ‘Sadducees’

Verse 6: “But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!””

In French Rarebit, Bugs Bunny is in Paris and walked right between two French cafés, whose chefs, Francois and Louis, were both determined to make Bugs the main entrée that day. Bugs pulled a typical maneuver and got both chefs arguing with each other over who owned the rabbit. This led to physical insults (nose tweaking, beard pulling) and, of course, led to cartoon violence with frying pans and the like. Bugs just calmly watched, noting the “terrible display of temper”.

You might say Paul pulled the same maneuver. He knew about the simmering rivalry between Sadducees and Pharisees, especially when it came to religious doctrine. All he had to do was claim honestly that he was a Pharisee and what he stood for (resurrection of the dead). Non-cooperative minds and partisan defenses did the rest. Soon, the council wasn’t even debating why Paul was brought before them, but back to common infighting. The Pharisee scribes, not fans of Paul, nevertheless claimed in council that they could find no fault with this man.

I find it remarkable that God blessed Paul to use the gifts and training he had to not only stand for Christ, but to also point out the hypocrisy of religious leaders of the day…much like Jesus did.

Something to think about.

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Verse 29: “But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

The special technical programmer was in a quandary: the project manager wanted him to code the program in a certain way. However, the business customer wanted him to code it in a different way. And then the architect had his own way he wanted it done. None of the three stakeholders could agree on how to do it. Meanwhile, the programmer calmly coded the logic, tested it, and presented it ready to elevate to production. All three of the stakeholders said, “Why did you code it this way?” “I followed the advice of my organizational manager who I answer to, and followed his model” he said. “But why did you take his orders over ours?” they asked. “Because,” said the programmer, “he signs my paycheck!”

The apostles had been thrown into prison by the high priest and the Sadducees. However, an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and told them to go to the temple and to teach. When the high priest had the guards bring them (note it was non-violently, lest they arouse a mob) and asked, “Why are you still doing this when we told you to stop?”, Peter and the others tell them why: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

Throughout the years, there have been times when the laws of man and the law of God were in conflict. There have been documented cases of civil disobedience. I remember telling my son once that he needs to defend himself if he gets bullied in school, although the rules are structured in such a way that both participants in a fight are disciplined. He asked, “but I’ll get in trouble too.” I told him, “you may get into trouble with the school, but you won’t be in trouble with me, if you are in the right.” The apostles were more concerned with what God commanded than what man commanded.

In this day and time, when it seems man wants to flaunt sin in God’s face under the guise of laws…remember what Peter and the apostles said.

Something to think about today.

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