Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet. -Matthew 21:42-46
The Pharisees did not like Jesus, in fact, it would likely be appropriate to say that they hated Jesus. The Pharisees were the driving force behind the eventual death of Jesus, why? Because He was in the way.
The Pharisees were by large the ruling faction of the day, they held sway and were dominant in the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of the Jews. Jesus represented a problem for the Pharisees – some of the people were listening to Jesus, which of course means the people were not listening to the hypocritical Pharisees.
If the Jews of Jesus day listened to the words of Jesus, they would turn away from the Pharisees; henceforth, the Pharisees would lose their all-important position, and their power in Jewish society. It was not God that was most important to the Pharisees – it was power and position and all the trappings that went with it.
The Pharisees along with others that allied with them were foolish in the extreme. The Pharisees realized that Jesus was speaking to them directly in His parables. In verse 46 we see that the Pharisees desired to take Jesus by force, but would not as they regarded Him as a prophet and as well were afraid of the multitudes.
Jesus said that the Pharisees (Matthew 23) sat in Moses seat, but instead of following the Word of God and teaching it properly as Moses did – the Pharisees made it up as they went along. When the Bible warns of following the commandments and traditions of men – the Pharisees are the preeminent example of this. Jesus even referred to the Pharisees as the children of Satan (John 8:39-47).
What does this have to do with today’s Church?
The Gentiles were brought into the Kingdom of Christ because the Jewish people in large part refused to believe in Jesus (Romans 11:17-24). The same is true today – there are many people who believe Jesus is and was real, but they don’t really believe in Him. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a prime example of this, as they do not believe Jesus is God, same as the Pharisees did not. Another example is Islam, Muslims are taught that Jesus was a prophet – and that He also lied. Islam also teaches that all non-believers are to be killed, kind of remind you of the Pharisees and what they did to Jesus?
In verse 44 of Matthew 21, we are told that those who fall on this stone will be broken, those whom the stone falls on will be ground to powder – pretty ominous warning. The Bible is actually full of warnings on many things; we are repeatedly warned on NOT believing in Jesus. Untold numbers of people either do not believe, or say they believe, but betray by their actions that they do not in fact believe.
Many of today’s churches are no different than the Pharisees were. Precisely where in the Bible is homosexuality seen to be ok? Yet many denominations are ordaining gay pastors. Where in the Word of God is same-sex marriage approved? Yet many denominations are accepting this as ok. May denominations teach outright falsehoods – the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach Jesus is NOT God, Catholics teach that an impure soul goes to Purgatory and then to Heaven, Seventh-Day Adventists believe that upon death the body and the soul remain in the grave.
Nothing new under the sun
Ecclesiastes 1:9 says there is nothing new under the sun. Indeed, when we compare the Pharisees to some of today’s churches, we see this is very true. God’s Word never lies, it may be confusing at times, but the Word of God does not lie.
Man throughout time has desired to take God’s Word – and subjugate it unto their own meaning rather than understanding it for what it was intended to be. If you don’t like what the Bible says, no problem, change the meaning of the text to suit your needs. Or, simply ignore it all together.
It is no different today then it was in Jesus time. Changing or altering the Word of God makes it no less true, and those who do so – do so at their own peril. If you don’t like what the Word of God says, change your opinion.
If a church or a person is bringing people to Christ; only the Christ that they bring people to is not the One the Bible teaches of – then what good have any of these accomplished?
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.