Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XLVIII: Discerning How To Counter Theological Errors In Errant Conservatives
(Mark 12:28-34, 35-37)
  1. Introduction
    1. It is one thing to counter theological Liberalism that denies the miraculous and the Scriptures as did the Sadduccees in Mark 12:18-27. However, it seems often difficult to counter the complex theological err or of those who are partly right as Biblical conservatives!
    2. After Jesus soundly undermined the liberal theologians of that day, the Sadducees, a spokesman for the Biblically conservative Pharisees put forth a question in order maliciously to trap Jesus, cf. Mtt. 22:34-35.
    3. The way Jesus responded to the test by the conservative Pharisees shows us how to counter error that is difficult to counter in even conservative circles today:
  2. Discerning How To Counter Theological Errors In Errant Conservatives, Mark 12:28-34, 35-37.
    1. When Jesus cornered the Sadduccees, the conservative Pharisees met together and got a skillful authority on the Law to question Jesus in an attempt to trip Him up, Mark 12:28 with Mtt. 22:34-35.
      1. A complementing Pharisee asked Jesus what was the most important command in the Law, Mark 12:28.
      2. He was trying to see what Jesus would do with the very important Jewish Shewa which the devout quoted twice a day, namely, that Israel's God was One Lord, or the unique Lord, B.K.C., N.T., p. 163f.
      3. The hope was to expose Jesus as erring in His claim of being God along with the Father in apparent contradiction to the Deut. 6:4 Shewa that said there was only One Lord.
    2. Jesus answered the conservative Pharisee with Scripture, revealing weakness in his Pharisee beliefs:
      1. Initially, Jesus answered the man's question with Biblical accuracy to critique his motives, Mk. 12:29.
        1. Jesus revealed that there was a major truth to which every Jew was bound, the Shewa that Israel's God was indeed One Lord, Mark 12:29.
        2. He went further, showing that this command was sterile unless followed up by a real-life application of the former: unless one loved God with his entire being and also loved his neighbor with his entire being, he was not indeed a real worshipper of the One Lord of Israel, the true Lord, Mark 12:30-31.
        3. In effect, Jesus revealed His awareness that the motive involved was not loving either to God or toward Him as a fellow Jew, and saw through the "test" to reveal the real motive for the claim that Israel's Lord was indeed ONE versus the pantheism of paganism around Israel!
      2. In response to this very convicting insight on Christ's part, the wise Pharisee soundly agreed to Jesus' accuracy out of fear of being exposed for bad motives in asking His theologically entrapping question:
        1. The Pharisee noted that all Jesus said was true, that Israel's God was One as the true God, 12:32
        2. He also noted that real worshippers loved God and their neighbors in action, for God demanded such attitudes in the heart above mere sacrifices in the Old Testament, v. 33 and Isa. 1:11-17.
      3. Realizing that the Pharisee was fearful of being exposed, and that fear of Jesus meant he was close to faith in Him as he thus respected Jesus, Christ said the man was not far from God's Kingdom, 12:34a.
      4. The Pharisees dared not answer Him any more questions, fearing exposure for wrong motives, v. 34b.
      5. Finally, Jesus went beyond merely answering these men to expose their false motives to counter their primary objection about Jesus' claim to being God's Son as seeming to undermine the Shewa:
        1. Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1 where David called His descendant, the Messiah his Lord! (Mk. 12:35-37)
        2. Jesus' question to reveal the Pharisees' error was: if Messiah is David's SON, how do the Scribes say He is also David's Lord? How can He be both unless Messiah is God incarnate as Jesus claimed?!
        3. Thus, Jesus revealed that if the Pharisees paid close attention to their own exegesis of Scripture, they would realize the doctrine of the ONE God and PLURALITY of Persons in the Godhead, and find it acceptable to believe that Jesus was both God and Messiah without violating the revered Shewa!
Lesson: Jesus answered the conservative Pharisees to reveal their erroroneous motives and theology by sticking to what God's WORD taught!

Application: Critiquing even conservative theological error and errant motives is not impossible; one must simply expound God's Word to do so, especially being careful to quote the correct exegesis of the errant party that exposes h is own theological errors and motives as the case may be!