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Bible Studies

Matthew, Mark and Luke
Lesson 9
Accusations against Jesus

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Reading assignment for this lesson: Matthew 10:1-4, 12:1-50, 26:6-13, Mark 2:23-28, 3:1-35, 8:11-12, 14:3-9, Luke 6:1-19, 7:36-50, Luke 8:1-3, 8:19-21, 11:14-26, 11:29-32

The Pharisees were a prominent Jewish sect at the time of Jesus and were influential in both political and religious matters. The Pharisees were known for insisting that the Jewish Law be observed exactly as the scribes interpreted it. The Pharisees practiced a very legalistic form of religion, and they imposed it on others. Compliance with many rules was emphasized, and spiritual matters were largely ignored.

Jesus did not share the Pharisees' enthusiasm for legalism, and He did not follow many of their rules. As a result, there was frequent conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees and other religious leaders. The Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath rules and working miracles by the power of Satan. Jesus denounced the Pharisees as self-righteous hypocrites who laid burdensome rules on the people while ignoring the true spirit of the Law.

1. Of what crime did the Pharisees accuse Jesus' disciples in Matthew 12:1-8, Mark 2:23-28 and Luke 6:1-5? (See Exodus 20:10, 34:21, 35:2-3, Numbers 15:32-36, Deuteronomy 23:24-25.)

2. What three points did Jesus make in reply to the Pharisees' accusations?
1) See Matthew 12:3-4, Mark 2:25-26, Luke 6:3-4, 1 Samuel 21:1-6.
2) See Matthew 12:5-6, 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5.
3) See Matthew 12:7, Mark 2:27, Hosea 6:6.

3. a) Of what did the Pharisees accuse Jesus when he healed the man with the withered hand?
b) How did Jesus respond to this accusation? (See Matthew 12:9-14 Mark 3:1-6 Luke 6:6-11, Exodus 35:2.)

4. Why did Jesus withdraw from the confrontation with the Pharisees? (See Matthew 12:15, Mark 3:7, Luke 18:31-33, John 7:6, 8:19-20, 11:53-54.)

5. At this point, the people and Jesus' disciples still expected the Messiah to be a mighty military and political leader. They were probably confused and disillusioned when Jesus withdrew from the confrontation with the Pharisees. What does Matthew 12:17-21 tell about the true nature of Jesus' mission? (See Isaiah 42:1-4, Matthew 20:25-28, John 18:36.)

6. What kind of men did Jesus name as His apostles? (See Matthew 10:1-4 Mark 3:13-19 Luke 6:12-16, Matthew 4:18-22, 9:9, John 1:43-45.)

7. a) What was it about the woman with the ointment (Luke 7:36-50) that led Jesus to forgive her many sins?
b) What was it about the Pharisee that led Jesus to criticize him? (See Matthew 20:25-28, 21:31-32, 23:12, Romans 12:16, James 4:10.)

8. A similar story about a woman anointing Jesus with costly ointment is in Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9 and John 12:1-8. Why did Jesus say, "For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me"? (NRSV)

9. How did Jesus refute the charge that He was casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul (Beelzebub)? (See Matthew 12:22-29 Mark 3:20-27 Luke 11:14-22.)

10. The religious leaders, the scribes and Pharisees, came to Jesus and asked Him to produce a sign from heaven to prove that He had really been sent by God.
a) How did Jesus reply? (See Matthew 12:38-42, Mark 8:11-12, Luke 11:29-32.)
b) What did Jesus mean by the "sign of Jonah"? (See Jonah 1:17, Luke 18:31-33.)

11. Do you look for proof to justify your faith or even sometimes ask God for some sign to prove the truth of the gospel message?

12. Can you interpret Jesus' parable of the evil spirit in Matthew 12:43-45 and Luke 11:24-26?

13. a) Why did Jesus' mother and brothers come looking for Him? (See Matthew 12:46-50, Mark 3:20-21, 3:31-35, Luke 8:19-21.)
b) What did Jesus mean by, "Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother"?

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