By MYRA D. COLGATE
CHEROKEE PENTECOSTAL HOLINESS CHURCH
“Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them is like a wise man who built his house on rock.
“The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, but it did not collapse because it had been founded on rock.
“Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.”
“The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, and it collapsed; it was utterly destroyed!
“When Jesus finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed by his teaching,
“because he taught them like one who had authority, not like their experts in the law.”
Matthew 7:24-29 (GSB)
What made Jesus’ teaching and instructions so different from the priests, scribes, and Pharisees for the people at this time? The practical wisdom found within His words and easily understood examples He gave helped them see a much better way. It gave them hope of an even better life when what was being learned was actually applied wholeheartedly to their lives by them. The authority expressed in His calm and quiet presentation was undeniably that of a master teacher. It was the authority of a perfect, love-filled personage who took care to reach out to each of them individually. Most people were so grateful and amazed at His being so freely approachable, they began to tell and bring everyone they knew to meet and hear Him.
Of course many would come because of their own desire to be healed, or for a miracle to take place in the circumstances which had ensnared and entangled them. However, there were those who came just for the practical wisdom and wonderful words of hope which Jesus brought into their lives. True seekers of His words of wisdom were never disappointed.
Only those who came to challenge the positive validity and authority of His teachings were disappointed in not really being able to stop the spread of His influence and popularity.
As He had also begun to supply food, miraculously multiplied from little, in at least two remote places, and always being ready to heal all who came to Him for healing, He began to teach others how to share the good news of the Kingdom of God coming to earth. Also, a bit later, He even taught the next generation of 70 disciples to bring to many other souls a healing and the casting out of demons as they learned and believed following in His footsteps after His brief training and minimal instructions.
His fame and influence became a real threat to the religious and governmental powers of that day. He became such a serious obstacle to their own traditional thinking and desires, they began to plot and plan to create some kind of trap or even to eventually capture and kill Him if there would be no other way to stop Him.
They soon began to realize they would have to do this in a way that would not upset the now convinced populace or the occupying Roman government officials. They feared what the people might do to them if their plan would begin to work, or what the Roman government might do to them as they were the local government and the ones responsible in keeping peace in their land.
Their real dilemma was in knowing they were losing their own popularity and control of the people because they were afraid of Jesus’ truthful and answers to any and all of their questions and of losing what they considered their rightful place in the people’s eyes. They also were very afraid of what Rome might do if they lost any more of their influence over the people.
Continuing to try and trap Jesus by asking Him who He was, about Jewish laws, concerns for the Sabbath, they became more desperate. The High Priest finally decided to find some who would testify against Jesus to bring damage to His character, words or actions. They chose to hold a trial, illegally at night, at the High Priest’s home, and bring in the entire Sanhedrin. One of their own laws stated that a trial which could bring in a guilty verdict would take a minimum of two days to hear all the evidence. They only convened for one evening.
What was He guilty of, healing the sick or injured? Feeding thousands in a desert? Bringing sight to the blind? Hearing to the deaf? You choose.