Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Knowing Our Enemy's Tricks - the Pharisees

Satan is a pretty nasty guy and was going to try everything to stop people from believing in God's plan. He was going to make it as miserable for Christ and others as much as possible. He knew what his destiny was and he knew the only thing you could do was to bring people down with him. We need to remember those times when Satan tried in his own power to prevent others to know the will of God in order for us to be more aware of his tricks in our own lives.

The next three posts I am going to be asking three questions in order to focus more on the "opportune time" according to Luke 4:13 that Satan sought to "mess" with God's plan:

1) Who or what Satan used?
2) How does Jesus respond?
3) What is applicable to me?

1) Who or what Satan used?

The Pharisees - Read Matthew 12:1-14, 22-32

They were all about keeping the law vs the sanctity of life or one's heart. According to these verses, they got upset at the disciples for picking heads of grain and eating them on the Sabbath. Even in verse 10, they got upset at Jesus for healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. Keeping the law was more important then giving food to a tired body or healing a man who had faith in Jesus and what He could do.

They also failed to believe that Jesus was the Messiah and suffered unbelief and were faithless. After Jesus heals a blind, mute, and demon- possessed man, the Pharisees said that Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons. They clearly was blaspheming God by saying that He was doing it for Satan. 

2) How does Jesus respond?

He gives examples from Scripture. Look at verses 3-4 where Jesus uses the example of David in 1 Samuel 21:6 when the priest gives him and his men food because they were tired from wandering around. Jesus was making the point that one's physical well being should be our focus over following the rules. Jesus also uses another example that priests continue on doing their priestly duties on the Sabbath (verse 5). Their duties were to glorify God over keeping a rule. 

Jesus uses the scripture from Hosea 6:6 which says,

  "For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings."
Jesus was telling them that to show mercy and love was more important than following the rules.
Look at verse 8 where Jesus tells them that He is Lord even Lord over the Sabbath. It was all about worshiping God and acknowledging Him and what He has done. 
In the other past of scripture, Jesus tells them that He is God and the kingdom of God is at hand (verse 28). Because they don't believe in Him as God, Jesus points it out that there is a division. He is God and when they cast out demons, they do it through Him. But Jesus tells them that because they are rejecting Him as God, it prevents them to be unified and causes them to continue to trust in their own works.  
3) What is applicable to me?
Satan sometimes can use tasks or rules that we have to follow to tempt us to focus more on what we need to do versus people's hearts and needs at that time. When we do that, we are making those things more important then God instead of glorifying Him. I have to say that I am very guilty of this when it comes to my daughter. I get so task-oriented when it comes to getting dinner ready because I want to please my poor hungry husband. But all the meanwhile I am promoting a grumpy house because my daughter wants my attention and I get upset because I want to get dinner done. I should stop instead and focus and foster my little one's heart because that is more important at that moment then getting dinner finished.
Satan used the Pharisees rejection of Christ to possibly mislead people. They were sending mix signals, saying they believed in God but rejected Jesus as God. I can only imagine the doubts that could have entered some people's minds. I believe it is the same with us. Sometimes we can contradict ourselves. We say we are Christians but through our actions of putting ourselves before God, we could be showing people poor representation of who God is.
Even though Satan could have tired to use the Pharisees to warp God's plan, we can rest that His plan did prevail. He has overcome the law and has given us the ability through what Jesus did on the cross to fight off the temptation to be just like the Pharisees. 
Please come back next week for another opportune time that Satan used to mess with God's plan.    


  1. Kristina - I really like the 3 questions you are approaching the Scriptures with to pull nuggets out for yourself. I do believe that many people have been hurt by those who have said they are Christians, but in reality were poor representations of what it really means to be a Christ follower. Thanks for sharing today - I am your neighbor today at #CoffeeForYourHeart

  2. Beautiful Truth...sometimes rules and bueracracies make me sick especially when lives are involved. Gradually, the pharisees lost it! They held on to the law and became blind to the truth...Jesus is here now, the veil is taken away. Amen.
    Thank you for this teaching.
    Blessings to you


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