Answers to BSF Bible Study Questions John Lesson 25 Day 2
Now Caiaphas is high priest at this time. The sacred office he occupies has been corrupted for more than a century by Jewish collaboration with Greeks and Romans. Reformers are few, and they have been unable to cleanse the high office from its pollutants. Because of this, many Jews have stopped coming to the temple. How can God’s holy habitation on earth be pure if its primary representative is coddling the enemies of Israel? Caiaphas knows he needs friends in high places to put an end to Jesus, so he turns to Pilate, the Roman governor. It is Pilate’s job to look out for Roman interests in Judea. He is an irritable man, unnecessarily cruel and intentionally provocative. Many Jews will die on his watch. For Pilate, Jesus is just one more. (Note in Voice translation)
3. Lest we become defiled
—by contact with ceremonially unclean Gentiles.
They thought contact with Gentiles would make them ceremonially unclean.
Praetorium—Roman Governor’s palace, Hall of judgment, the house where Pilate—a Gentile, Roman— the praetor (chief of the province) lived, held his court, and tried cases.
Because they didn’t want to be disqualified from eating the Passover.
The first day of Passover was a holy convocation, or a special Sabbath. (see John 2:13).
It is also possible that they were observing some oral tradition about being defiled by just keeping company with a Gentile. Peter made mention of this tradition when he went to Cornelius’ house. However, there are no Old Testament scriptures that expressly back up that tradition.
Whatever their reasoning, this is a classic example of straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel (Matthew 23:24). They were so careful to avoid ceremonial uncleanness, but they were in the very process of the greatest defilement of all time by condemning the sinless Son of God. (Andrew Wommack)
That they might eat the Passover.
This defilement, produced by contact with a Gentile, they considered as equivalent to that of the contact of a dead body (Leviticus 22:4-6; Numbers 5:2), and as disqualifying them to partake of the passover in a proper manner. (Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament)
Even among the disciples, the Jewish religious mindset persisted.
Peter said, “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.” Acts 10:14 (NLT)
Peter fell into a trance and saw in a vision a large sheet filled with unclean animals, reptiles, and birds.
4. Nothing outside a man can morally or spiritually defile him.
The Jewish Sanhedrin pronounced Jesus guilty of behavior and speech punishable by death. Under Roman rule, the Jews were not allowed to carry out the death penalty, so they took Jesus to Pilate.
“Crucifixion in Roman times was applied mostly to slaves, disgraced soldiers, Christians, and foreigners—only very rarely to Roman citizens.”
If it was lawful for the Jews to execute Jesus, they would have stoned him.
5. False beliefs
(I went a different direction with this answer. I think I was a victim of false religious teaching used to control my outward behavior to the detriment of my relationship with God.)
I grew up hearing a mixture of law and grace. It believed I was saved by grace, but afterward, I got the impression God sent me to a harsh military school.
I thought he was always scowling at me and shaking his head in disappointment.
Some even taught God makes people sick, poor, etc. to teach them a lesson.
As a result of this ongoing lie started by the serpent in Eden, many still run and hide from God.
Yet, the hall of faith in Hebrews 11 mentions none of their sins—only that they are people remembered and praised for their faith. There’s no mention of Sarah’s laughter, Moses’ and David’s murders, or Samson’s infidelity.
Jesus used this example to show that God is a good and loving Father—
Some of you are fathers, so ask yourselves this: if your son comes up to you and asks for a fish for dinner, will you give him a snake instead? 12 If your boy wants an egg to eat, will you give him a scorpion? 13 Look, all of you are flawed in so many ways, yet in spite of all your faults, you know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to all who ask! Luke 11:11 Voice
God loves us and created us to love him back. So simple, but mindsets die hard.