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Op-Ed

Why did the Pharisees believe Moses, not Jesus?

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By EMN Updated: Aug 21, 2013 12:56 am
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Thepfulhouvi Solo

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he meeting between Nicodemus and Jesus gives us some idea as to why the most educated religious Leader Class of the day, the Pharisees accepted Moses but rejected Jesus.
Nicodemus appeared to be a trusting, simple non-judgmental person unlike the powerful Religious elites of educationally advanced Pharisee Class of the Jewish Society recorded in the New Testament Gospels and very likely, a member of the socio-political decision making Body the Sanhedrin of the Jews; he appeared to have an honest normally conscientious person og the Society;Unlike many of the Pharisees, his colleagues, Nicodemus did not appear to have the vain glorious superiority complex of the Pharisees contemptuously looking down on the entire uneducated common Citizen as uneducated cursed sinners. Nicodemus appeared a responsible person.
How did he failed to understand the words of Jesus?
Unfortunately, Nicodemus proved to be just like any other common normal person of the day. He was incapable of displeasing his friends or colleagues or his Superiors of the Group. Nicodemus did not seem to have the decisiveness and courage of Paul, who could contradict his Pharisees friends, even oppose his former Guru, the Chief Priest when he (Paul) is convinced of the rightness of his Stand. Paul has the courage of conviction to oppose the wrong wherever he found them; he opposed his closest co-worker Barnabas and even Peter, a foremost leader of then nascent Christian community, when Paul found they went wrong.
The lacking in Nicodemus surprisingly was not different from those in the Pharisee Fold: Nicodemus viewed and understood the World in its appearance, not in the real deeper Spiritual sense just as we most Naga Christians today are, religious teachers or not.
Jesus said: “…no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again”.
What Jesus said was of the Spiritual Sense, that a Man must come to life (born) in the Spirit to enter the realm of God. Nicodemus understood it in terms of being born again in the physical form. He was naively honest and simple enough to ask:
“Can a man enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born again?”
To understand the Sense of what Jesus said needs humble discernment; the two qualities the Pharisees did not appeared to have. The Pharisees considered the physical appearances most importantly; they considered the outside appearances and the dry legality more than the invisible Spiritual contents.
Jesus condemned the Pharisees’ for their hollow outward Religious formality: -they liked to say long Prayers in the public places to be seen of men, -they are like Graves whitewashed outside, -they dress to be seen of men, they like to sit in the front rows in the congregations, -they strained mosquitoes but swallow Gnats, -they encompass the whole world making Missionary journeys in search of a single person and converts one who becomes worst than before and they like to sit in the Seat of Moses to pass judgment on others.
The Pharisees could forecast the next day’s weather just by observing the western horizon after Sunset; the Scripture talks a lot about the one who is to come, from where he is to come and many Prophets prophesized about the One who is to come. Week in Week out, year in year out, for 2 millenniums, 72 generations, the Chief Priest talked about the One who is to come: The Demons could identify Jesus as the Son of David but the Pharisees could not see him standing under their very Nose!
All the Miracles Moses performed came from God, they were not from Moses originally; Moses performed them with the power and direction from God.
Jesus walked on the Water of the Sea of Galilee, he turned water into wine in a Marriage at the Village of Cana, he stopped the Air from blowing a Storm in the Sea of Gannesaret, fed thousands with 5 loaves and 2 fishes in its shore; he made mud with his saliva and used it as ointment to cure a man born blind in Jerusalem, power from him flowed through the frills of his cloth to cure blood incessantly flowing from a woman; he brought the stinking dead body of Lazarus, died 4 days ago, to life in front of a crowd of mourners in Bethany, with his voice he healed the dying servant of the Roman Centurion in Capernaum.
A woman from an untouchable community and a blind man cured just moments ago desired but never expected to see the Jewish Messiah: Jesus talked to the woman; he cured the blind man and said to them:
“The person talking to you is He!”
Jesus plainly and personally and openly told the Pharisees:
“I came from Heaven, My father is God, I am before Abraham was, I am the Bread of life; you must eat my Flesh and drink my blood. No one can have eternal life without drinking my blood and eating my flesh. Any one drinking my blood shall never thirst again but it shall flow out from him like water from a fountain, he shall rise again from death and have everlasting life”.
All these refer to the intangible Spiritual realm and not to the tangible material or physical realm: Man’s blood can not wash away intangible sins from Man; human blood has no power to wash man’s sins; it is not like the blood of Jesus, which only has the power to wash away man’s sin.
The Church in Nagaland today often quietly and silently emphasizes the outward appearance and values worldly approvals. It appears to looks to the world for friendship. Today from the Church Pulpit, we hear very expert and very intelligent talks on the ‘Good News’, but they sound phony like a Robot talking very interesting things. We will know it true and real only when the expert teachings and sermons are seen in the life of the Church.
Nagaland needs Reformation of its Church life.

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By EMN Updated: Aug 21, 2013 12:56:58 am