Another Catch-22

There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilæans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

Luke 13:1

The Scribes and Pharisees prided themselves in being able to “turn a phrase” and sound intelligent. This was the basis of their religion. Rather than seeking true righteousness, they developed a way to avoid the need to repent with self-justification.  

Immediately before they bring this question to Jesus, Jesus chides them for being able to predict the weather but not recognize the Messiah when He is standing right in front of them! Rather than addressing their personal ignorance and blindness, they sidestep Jesus’ rebuke and seek another opportunity to catch Jesus with their word games.  

There was a man named Judas of Galilee (Acts 5:37) who tried to lead a revolt of the Jews against Rome. When Pilate discovered their plot, he had them all killed and their blood was mixed with the blood of the sacrifices during the Feast of Passover.  

With this event, the Scribes and Pharisees thought they had another opportunity at a Catch-22! 

If Jesus supported the rebellion and condemned Pilate, they would report Him to Pilate. If Jesus condemned the rebellion, they could show the people that He really wasn’t there to help them. 

Either way, they were rid of Him and could comfortably go back to their form of religion.  

Jesus does not ignore their question. He just answers it as the “Author of language” rather than as a normal man. 

They were attempting to ignore His rebuke and call for repentance. Jesus turns it right back on them.  Jesus shows us that we need to look at ourselves more deeply when it comes to sin. If we find ourselves explaining away our sin in self-justification we are acting no differently than these unbelieving Jews. 

Further, we must realize that we are doing the very same thing that they do. We are playing word games with the King of the world Who invented language!  

Not a good idea.


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