Friday, March 13, 2015

Rigid Rules?

From its earliest years the Jewish child was surrounded with requirements of the rabbis.  Rigid rules were prescribed for every act, down to the smallest details of life.  Under the synagogue teachers the youth were instructed in the countless regulations which as orthodox Israelites they were expected to observe.  But Jesu did not interest Himself in these matters.  From childhood He acted independently of rabbinical laws.  The Scriptures of the Old Testament were His constant study, and the words. "Thus saith the Lord," were ever upon His lips.

As the condition of the people began to open to His mind, He saw that the requirements of society and the requirements of God were in constant collision.  Men were departing from the word of God, and exalting theories of their own invention.  They were observing traditional rites that had no virtue.  Their service was a mere round of ceremonies; the sacred truths it was designed to teach were hidden from the worshipers.  He saw that in their faithless services they found no peace.  They did not know the freedom of spirit that would come to them by serving God in truth..  Jesus had come to teach the meaning of the worship of God, and He could not sanction the mingling of human requirements with the divine precepts.  He did not attack the precepts or practices of the learned teachers; but when reproved for His own simple habits He presented the word of God in justification of His conduct.

In every gentle and submissive way, Jesus tried to please those with whom He came in contact.  Because He was so gentle and unobtrusive, the scribes and elders supposed that He would be easily influenced by their teaching.  They urged Him to receive the maxims and traditions that had been handed down from the ancient rabbis, but He asked for their authority in Holy Writ.  He would hear every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; but He could not obey the inventions of men.  Jesus seemed to know the Scriptures from beginning to end, and He presented them in their true import.  The rabbis were ashamed to be instructed by a child.  They claimed that it was their office to explain the Scriptures, and that it was His place to accept their interpretation.  They were indignant that He should stand in opposition to their word.

They knew that no authority could be found in Scripture for their traditions. They realized that in spiritual understanding Jesus was far in advance of them.  Yet they were angry because He did not obey their dictates.  Failing to convince Him, they sought Joseph and Mary, and set before them His course of noncompliance.  Thus He suffered rebuke and censure.

At a very early age Jesus had begun to act for Himself in the formation of His character, and not even respect and love for His parents could turn Him from obedience to God's word.  "It is written" was His reason for every act that varied from the family customs.  But the influence of the rabbis made His life a bitter one.  Even in His youth He had to learn the hard lesson of silence and patient endurance.

(Are we as faithful to the Holy Scriptures as Jesus was even as a child?  Today we see so much in the religious world that is not found in the Scriptures.  We really do need to "study to show ourselves approved unto God"  don't we?  For encouragement along this line let's read 2 Timothy 3:16,17.  "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."  So let's study the Scriptures because they really do come from God and are the only means of our salvation.  Grandma Joan.  These thoughts were taken from the Desire of Ages p. 84,85.)

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