Jesus was rejected
Jesus offered salvation to His most bitter opponents but didn’t reach all of them.
As I stated in the last blog the opposition between the religious leaders and Jesus was real. They said that He did his miracles in league with the Devil. He denounced them in the clearest terms in the last days of his life. (Matthew 9:32-34; 12:22-24; 23:33-35)
Jesus reached out to them and some of them believed but most did not.
They knew the Scriptures but they rejected Jesus.
Familiarity with the Scriptures carries responsibility. Those who teach shall receive a stricter judgement. Leaders in the Church shall answer for those under their care. Those who teach will be held responsible for the sins of those who follow any falsehood in their message. (James 3:1; Hebrews 13:17; Matthew 18:6)
Familiarity with God did not always guarantee piety. The sons of Eli were failures. The sons of Samuel were not trustworthy. Some priests opposed messengers from God. (1 Samuel 2:12; 1 Samuel 8:1-3; Jeremiah 26:7-9)
Those who receive truth are expected to submit to truth. They become spiritual blind and foolish when they don’t. The Pharisees were convinced it was wrong to heal on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:22-32) . They told the healed blind man that he was full of sin from birth but could not see their own spiritual blindness. That uneducated man had more insight than the formally trained leaders. In the end they sarcastically asked “Are we blind too?” (Matthew 12:22-24; John 9:13-17, 24-41 )
They rejected miracles
When confronted with the risen Lazarus the solution was simple. Kill him as well as Jesus (John 12:9-11).
The miracle of the ripped curtain in the temple was rejected. In the end they did not believe (Matthew 27:51).
A question not answered in Scripture is how much did the unbelieving leaders know. Annas is known outside the Bible. He was probably born around 22 BC. He was high priest from 6 AD until 15 AD when he was deposed by the Roman governor. His son-in-law Caiaphas was the High Priest when Jesus was crucified. In addition to his son-in-law, five of his sons were also high priests.
Annas was the high priest when the twelve year-old Jesus was in the temple. He was a teenager when Jesus and John were born. All the priests who were over fifty years old when Jesus was crucified were priests when Jesus came to the temple. They and would probably have known John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, early in their careers. Annas was also one of the leaders when John and Peter were brought before them for peaching the risen Jesus. (Acts 4:6).
How much did they know?
We are never told but they remained unbelievers until the end.
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