The Story of a Pharisee
In place of our ordinary study in Hebrews, I decided to take a look at a few passages that came up during this week because all three of the weekly Bible studies I’m involved with converged on a common theme – the pharisees.
As I delved into Hebrews 9, I was looking into the topic of blood which is so central to much of the Word of God – particularly with regard to the animal sacrifices of ancient Israel, and of course Jesus’ own blood of the New Covenant which we just looked at in our study of Hebrews 8. One of the passages I looked at in my investigation of the topic of blood was Matthew 23 – Jesus’ pronouncement of seven woes upon the scribes and pharisees.
Then in our Sunday afternoon study in John, the passage under consideration was the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus – the pharisee who had come to Him by night. Lastly, our Wednesday evening study was in Acts 2 when God poured out His Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
As I was going over the Hebrews study in preparation for our weekly gathering, God strongly impressed upon me that I should set aside my prepared notes, and do an impromptu teaching on the common theme around which these three studies revolved. In particular, I was intrigued by the question of whether Nicodemus actually understood what Jesus had told him about needing to be born of the Spirit as well as the flesh in order to see the Kingdom of God. I wondered whether Nicodemus was present when God’s Spirit was poured out on Pentecost.
Although I used Matthew 23 as the anchor for this impromptu teaching, I made no attempt to analyze that passage or the related passages in John 3 and Acts 2 in any detail as I normally would in preparing a Bible study. Therefore I have not included any notes or quotations here – only the audio recording of the presentation given at our weekly gathering.