As I've read and studies the Gospels during the writing of Seeing The Life I've learned or shall I same focused on the themes of what Yeshua taught. I use Yeshua as it is the Hebrew transliteration of the Greek Jesus. I have used it for his name throughout the book as well as other Hebrew spellings. There were so many people with the same name it gets confusing. Mary had to be the most popular name for a girl in the years before Yeshua was born.
If you've read the Scriptures at all you have most likely noted the antipathy toward Yeshua by the leading priests, Pharisees and Sadducees. Despite their doctrinal differences, these three groups were mostly against Yeshua and his teachings. It's not that they thought what he was teaching was wrong. Although they tried mightily to discredit him, they were unable to refute his message.
What united them against him was the threat to their power and wealth. These men had their hands in a very lucrative pie. It was that pie that cause Yeshua's anger when he cleared the Temple of the livestock and turned over the tables of the moneychangers.
The Temple coins were the only ones accepted as offerings. They had no value outside of the Temple. They were not legal tender. The coins were minted for the Temple controlled by the powerful priests. These were not necessarily all Levites by the time of Christ. There had been political workings within the priesthood in the time between the testaments. The coins were sold to the moneychangers by the priests who sold them to the people who gave them back to the Temple controlled by the priests. It's a sweet way to make easy money if you can get it. Yeshua openly threatened this.
You would think a person could raise a lamb without blemish take it to the Temple and use it for your Pesach (Passover) lamb. Wrong. The lambs, cattle, doves, etc. had to be purchased at the Temple. Guess where they came from. The farms owned by the, you guessed it, the Pharisees and Sadducees as well as the priests. Is it any wonder that twice Yeshua took whips and drove the animals from the Temple and overturned tables weighing more than a man should be able to move by himself?
None of those were the tipping point which caused Yeshua's arrest and crucifixion however. The tipping point was something entirely different. Yeshua had been healing the sick for nearly three years. The people never stopped flocking to have their illnesses and deformities healed. He had rid the crowds following him of demons which were attempting to destroy their loved ones. Other than Yeshua healing on the Shabbath, his work doing this wasn't really a problem.
No, the tipping point was in the town of Bethany where friends of Yeshua lived. They were a very well known family, not only in their town but also in Jerusalem only a few miles away. One of the men died. His name was Lazarus. Four days after his death Yeshua finally arrived in answer to Mary and Martha's plea to come heal their brother.
Before that time the powerful groups had conspired trying to find a way to kill Yeshua but they hadn't begun the planning. When Yeshua raised Lazarus from death the tipping point was reached. Now they met, the priests, Pharisees and Saducees. John 11:53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.
Those men had to know Yeshua was not simply another prophet. The man could raise the dead. No one without the Power of Yahweh could do this. With all the miracles he did, the faithful obedience to Yahweh's word, giving life back to a dead man. None of that mattered to this rich group of men who were so worried that their sin and hypocrisy would be exposed and their powerful positions.
The tipping point. The restoring of life to a death man. Then plotting to kill the Son of God.
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Sophie Dawson is my pen name. The real me is the wife of a farmer in western Illinois.
I have two grown sons, one of which is married to a wonderful young woman. They gave us the most wonderful granddaughter ever in November of 2010. I'm not the least bit prejudice. :)