Songs and Praise
   

 
 
 

Less 146 THE RISING OPPOSITION TO JESUS

 
John 11:47-54; Luke 13:10-17;

Lesson 146 Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "It is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not" (John 11:50).

I The Infirm Woman's Healing

The woman was helplessly bound by the devil, being unable to walk erect, Luke 13:10, 11, 16 Jesus healed her, demonstrating again His power over Satan, Luke 13:12. 13; Hebrews 2:14; I John 3:8
She worshiped and glorified God, Luke 13:13; John 9:35-38 The ruler of the synagogue did not glorify God, but indignantly criticized Jesus instead, Luke 13:14; John 9:13-16 The ruler denied Jesus' deity by saying that healing was labor, for Him, rather than a divine act, Luke 13:14; Matthew 12:24 Jesus rebuked the hypocrite and shamed all His adversaries for their unmerciful attitude, Luke 13:15-17; Matthew 12:10-12

II The Council's Rejection of Christ

Messianic prophecy showed that Christ would be rejected by His people, Isaiah 53:3, 7-9; Psalm 2:2; 27:12; 35:11-15; 41:9; 69:4; 109:3-5; Zechariah 11:12 The prophecy was being fulfilled during the whole of Jesus' life on earth, Matthew 2:12-15; 13:53-58; John 1:11 The malicious opposition, in organizing their attack, was an acknowl¬edgment of the miraculous power of Jesus, John 11:47, 48 The high priest, Caiaphas, in attempting to justify their acts of hatred and jealousy, was used by God to make a far-reaching prophecy regarding the Atonement, John 11:49, 50; 18:14; 3:17; Galatians 3:13; I Corinthians 15:22; I Peter 2:21-25; 3:18 The Word of God explains to us the universality of that Atonement, John 11 : 51, 52 ; Hebrews 2 : 9 ; 9 :28 ; II Corinthians 5:15; Romans 5:18; Acts 10:43; Revelation 22:17 Jesus could walk no more openly among the Jews because of the organized opposition, John 11:53, 54; Matthew 12:14-16

NOTES

Our Attitude Toward God as We Worship

We can see, from this lesson, that our attitude toward God is very important, and especially so when we come to worship Him. As Jesus taught in one of the Jewish synagogues, there sat before Him a congregation composed of several classes of people. Some present rejected Him, but we know of one person, at least, who believed Him that Sabbath, and others who also glorified Him. Those who rejected Him received no blessing from God that day, but this woman received great rewards for her faith and sincerity of heart.


This poor woman had an infirmity that caused her to be bent and stooped into a horrible condition. Her infirmity, as is true of all sickness and sin, was the work of the devil. But she found that the Teacher to whom she listened that day was no ordinary man. He read the Law and made His comments as was customary in that place, but He had an authority in His voice that was different from the others she had heard. He had come to earth to destroy the works of the devil, and her infirm body was one of the objects of His miraculous power.


He called to her. She obeyed His call. He spoke comforting words that thrilled her, telling her that she was loosed from her infirmity. Her heart responded to His voice of authority. She believed Him. His hand was laid upon her, and His power went through her, straightening the bent body and making her normal again. The muscles which had been abnor¬mally shortened were new lengthened. The bones that had, no doubt, been warped into distorted shapes and positions were now bent back to their proper shape. All in a moment of time!


She was healed! She could walk as others, looking up to the heavens to see the glory of the skies, or to the other magnificent creations around her, day or night. The years of her suffering and humiliation were all be¬hind. Now she could meet her associates face to face and not be subjected either to their ridicule or to their sympathy.


But how different was her attitude, both before and after the mir¬acle, from that of one other person who was present. We do not know how it affected all in the congregation. But we do know that when she was healed she worshiped God. We know that she would not have been healed if she had not believed Jesus and acted on His Word. She had a, heart of faith; and, because of that, Jesus could work through her to confound the unbelieving hypocrite that He knew was present.


The ruler of the synagogue became indignant at the deed and angrily said that there were other days than the Sabbath in which men could come and be healed. He took the attitude that healing was labor, that Jesus was not divine but merely an ordinary person practicing some man-made healing art.


The delivering of this poor woman from the bonds which Satan had cast about her was of no importance to this hypocritical ruler. There was not even a grain of human compassion in the heart of this man for one who had been suffering as she had suffered those eighteen years. The pain that had tortured her, the humiliation she had endured, the anxiety she had experienced while realizing her physical condition and limitations, meant nothing to him.


Jesus rebuked him, calling him a hypocrite, before the whole assem¬bly. The Son of God pointed out that any of them would have untied their livestock from their stalls on the Sabbath to give them drink. Why should He not loose this poor woman from the bonds of Satan on the Sabbath?


Jesus had already told others that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. He had given them the example of doing good on the Sabbath as being no violation of the spirit of the Law, but only an infraction of their own tradition which they, themselves, had woven around the Law as given by God. The day was intended as a time to glorify God, to worship Him, and to exalt His name. Could this be accom-plished any better than by manifesting God's power in delivering a person enslaved by Satan, with the consequent glorification of the Author of every good and perfect gift?


The ruler spoke with indignation, perhaps not so much at the vio¬lation of the Sabbath as at the glorification of Christ. Again, 'Never man spake like this man' (John 7:46) and the opposers of the Truth were con¬founded, made ashamed, and silenced before Him who spoke the worlds into existence — but whom they denied and rejected! But 'as many as re¬ceived him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God' (John 1:11-13).

The Continuing and Increasing Opposition

The time was ripening. The day of the Great Sacrifice was approach¬ing. Of all the earthly participants in this dispensational event only Jesus

 

knew of its imminence. It was for this purpose that He came to earth. He did not oome exclusively to teach. He did not leave Heaven to dwell on earth only to be an example for us. He came to suffer! He came to die! He came to raise Himself again from the dead!


These who rejected Christ did so deliberately. And in doing so they were allied with those who unwittingly helped to fulfill God's plan for the salvation of mankind. Their heinous crimes started with a rejection of the convicting appeals of the divine Son of God, who stood in their midst. They did not crucify Christ the first time they saw or heard Him. They rejected His teachings first; and then, in the end, they rejected Him! They finally said, in fact, that they would not have any part or portion in His Heavenly Kingdom, for they stated, 'We have no king but Caesar' (John 19:15).


Step by step opposition increased. If their rejection was passive at first, it became violent in the end. In their accusations they even acknowl¬edged that Christ did miracles, thereby attesting to the fact that He had supernatural power. Since, in their own hearts, their choice was already complete and final, they could not see in the miracles the evidence that it was God who stood in their midst. They could not see that they were op¬posing the One who is over all, even over the rulers of the Roman empire.

Christ, Our Substitute

The high priest, Caiaphas, sought to explain their position. In doing so he was used by God to remind the world that, though the serpent would soon bruise the heal of the promised Seed, the deliverance was available for all who would receive the Gospel. The great sacrifice was now to be made, through which the kingdom of Satan would be crushed and eventu¬ally overthrown.


How sublime was this prophecy! 'It is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people.' There was none who could qualify but the spotless, innocent Lamb of God. The sentence of death automatically passes upon all men, for all men sin and are guilty before God. One man cannot assume the responsibility of another's sins, because he, himself, has been sentenced to die for his own sins. He cannot die more than once.


But God devised a plan which, like all God's plans, is perfect. Christ, the innocent One, would die for all. No guilt of sin was upon Him; and He, being God, could lay down His life in place of the entire race of humanity — people of all ages, times, and nationalities.


He was the perfect Sacrifice to which all the thousands of taber¬naole and temple sacrifices pointed. He was the complete Sacrifice to whioh the burnt offerings of all ages pointed. He died for us ail, and in dying made the final statement that completely reassures us and lets us know that the price has been completely paid. In His dying breath He said, 'It is finished.' By His shed Blood all our sins may be forgiven and we can be made like Him, holy and clean, ready to meet Him in peace after having lived for Him on earth.


'We may not know, we cannot tell

What pains He had to bear;
But we believe it was for us

He hung and suffered there.


'He died that we might be forgiven,

He died to make us good,
That we might go at last to Heaven,

Saved by His precious blood.


'There was no other good enough,

To pay the price of sin;
He only could unlock the gate

Of Heaven and let us in.'

 

QUESTIONS

1 Who is the author of sin and disease?
2 Quote the passages of Scripture that show Who it is Who can destroy the work of the author of sin and disease.
3 After being healed, what attitude did the infirm woman show toward God?
4 How did her attitude contrast with that of the ruler of the synagogue?
5 By what significant statement did the synagogue ruler deny the Deity of Christ?
6 Who was the high priest that year?
7 Quote the prophetic statement that God spoke through him, and show our Scriptural authority for saying that it applies to us today.
8 What notable event took place in the term of service of this same high priest?
9 What Scriptural authority have we for saying that the Atonement is for all who will receive its benefits?
10 What change was made by Jesus in His personal life, due to this persecution?

 
   
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