A FIRE shut up in my bones.
You will not hear this preached in typical mainstream, Pharisee hating churches:
Matt 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
3 ALL therefore WHATSOEVER THEY BID YOU OBSERVE, THAT OBSERVE AND DO; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. [Matthew 23:1-3 KJV]
A little background for those who don’t know: The foundational difference between Pharisees and Sadducees is that Pharisees believed in the Torah+the Prophets+the “writings”+the Jewish oral law (Tulmad, midrash, mishnah etc…etc..)
Whereas the Sadducees ONLY believed in the Torah, although some believed in the Prophets as well, but that was up for debate in the world of the Sadducees.
Simply put, the Sadducees were WORD ONLY people. If it wasn’t in the “Word” it wasn’t true.
That is why “the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.” [Acts 23:8 KJV]….. because they didn’t see it in the Torah… therefore, in their limited, ultra-conservative minds, its not true. Very similar world-view to some fundamental Christians – if it’s not in the Bible, it’s not true. Same spirit – the Sadducee spirit. Same mindset – the Sadducee mindset.
Unlike the Sadducees, the Pharisees believed in both written, and oral law. In fact they believed in the group of scripture called the Ketuvim, which included the Psalms, Proverbs, books of the Chronicles…etc…etc…etc.. all of which WERE NOT canonized in Jesus’ day.
Why DIDN’T Jesus want his disciples to “observe and do” all the Sadducees “observe and do”?
After all, isn’t it all about “the written Word of God”, no more, and no less?
The answer is obvious – with few exceptions, Jesus taught his disciples to follow the observations and teachings of the Pharisees NOT the Sadducees. This means that He recognized and respected the oral law, and everything else the Pharisees taught.
BUT Jesus strictly warned His disciples NOT to do what they do. Why? Because they do not “observe and do” what they teach others to “observe and do”. They were hypocrites!
So how does this apply to us?
Some people believe that Jesus taught his followers to observe only two laws (love the Lord thy God, and love thy neighbor).
Such people do not realize that ALL that Jesus taught was from the Torah. He never taught anything new. He only expanded on, and clarified the teachings of the Torah, and taught others to obey them.
But Jesus commanded us not only to obey the first and second greatest commandments.
He CLEARLY taught us to “observe and do” ALL that the Pharisee taught. That is HUGE!
That opens a door to another whole world, that sadly, most Christians just pass by.