Jesus and His Enemies
1. Groups that Opposed Jesus – In general it was the religious leaders that opposed Jesus. Not all the Jews were
against Him because His disciples were also Jews.
a. Jewish Opposition Groups
i. The Herodians – Mark 3:6; 12:13
1. Political party that followed and supported the Herods.
2. They submitted voluntarily to the Romans, paying tribute, etc.
3. Because they wanted the Jewish religion to continue as it was, they joined with the Pharisees to
ii. The Scribes (teachers of the law) – Luke 20:46-47 and in many other texts found in the Gospels
1. They copied the scriptures. At that time there were no printers, so men had to copy by hand
important papers such as the Old Testament.
2. Because they knew the Law very well, they were called doctors or interpreters of the Law.
3. They were joined with the chief priests and the elders in order to persecute Jesus – Matthew 16:21.
iii. The Sadducees – Mark 12:18-27
1. This sect probably began about the same time, as did that of the Pharisees.
2. Some, however, think that the group may have begun during the time of Solomon.
3. Generally they were rich and had a lot of influence.
4. They denied the existence of angels, other spirits, miracles, and the resurrection of the
body – Acts 5:15-17; 23:8
5. They were the "liberals" among the Jews at that time.
6. They were not a large group, but to a great extent they controlled the Sanhedrin, the Jewish tribunal.
iv. The Pharisees – Matthew 23"13-36, etc.
1. It is believed that this Jewish sect originated during the third century B.C.
2. It was a numerous and dominant party.
3. They were open defenders of the Law.
4. They were very correct in their conduct, in their morals, and devout in they're faith.
5. At the same time, it seems that they were very self-righteous – Lk. 7:39
6. They believed themselves to be sinners. Because of that, they felt no spiritual need – Luke 7:39
7. They were the ones that received the most severe condemnations that Jesus
uttered – Matthew 23:13-36
8. They added to the word of God their own human traditions – Matthew 15:1-10
b. Why did they Oppose Jesus?
i. Because of his humble origin – Matthew 13:53-58
ii. Because of his followers: many poor; others that were tax collectors or open
sinners – Mark 11:19; Luke 5:27-35
iii. Because Jesus didn't insist from his disciples many of the traditions and rites that had grown up among
the Jews – Mark 7:1-13; Matthew 9:14-15; 23:2-12
iv. Because Jesus and his disciples didn't observe the Sabbath with its traditions – Luke 13:10-17; John 5:1-16
v. Because Jesus showed them to be insincere personas (hypocrites) – Matthew 15:1-10
c. What was Jesus' Attitude Toward His Enemies (The Opposition)?
i. He didn't defend himself – Matthew 26:51-52; 59-63; 27:12-14
ii. He forgave them – Luke 13:34
iii. He lived his teachings (practiced what he preached) – Matthew 5:10-12, 44
iv.His attitude should be ours also – Romans 12:20; I Thess. 5:15
Lesson 6 Questions
Jesus and His Enemies
1. What were the groups opposed Jesus?
2. Make a list of the differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
3. True and False
a.______All the Pharisees were enemies of Jesus.
b.______Some Jewish groups opposed Jesus because he showed that they were hypocrites.
c.______Jesus DOESN"T expect us to have the same attitude that he had toward his enemies.
d.______The Sadducees denied the resurrection of the body.
e.______The Pharisees were few in number.
f.______The Scribes knew the Law of Moses very well.
g.______Before his enemies Jesus defended himself to the limit.
h.______One reason these groups opposed Jesus was due to his humble origin.
i.______Jesus continued almost all the human traditions of the Jews.
4. After reading the biblical texts about Jesus' encounters with the Pharisees, why, in your opinion, did Jesus attack
so severely the Pharisees?
1. How can we be like 20th century Pharisees (in the negative sense)?
2. If a religious person were to attack us because of our teachings or way of life, how should we respond? What
should be out attitude upon being attacked in this way? What should we say or do?