Luke 13:31, The Gentler Pharisees

The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.

//In today’s verse, a few Pharisees who seemed sympathetic to Jesus approach him and warn him to escape from Jerusalem while he can.

This sympathy should not surprise us; indeed, we often find Jesus in the homes of Pharisees. Why would Pharisees welcome Jesus into their homes, and why would Jesus ever cross their threshold?

While the gospels tend to lump all Pharisees into one category, condemning them all, in truth the Pharisees could be quite diverse in their practice. Of the two primary schools of thought among Pharisees—followers of Hillel and followers of Shammai—the former group is actually very much like Jesus. Gentle, mild, in contrast to the more severe doctrine of Shammai. The latter group probably would be happy to see Jesus imprisoned; the former group were more likely friendly and appreciative of Jesus, welcoming him into their homes.

A broad brush just doesn’t do justice to the truth about people.

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1 Comment

  1. Excellent observation! Even though Jesus often chastised the Pharisees, they were still among those for whom he came to provide eternal life. And I am sure that many followed him.

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