Tag Archives: jews

EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (TAX COLLECTOR PT2)

We also find Jesus using the perceptions linked with tax collectors to jolt the Jewish leaders from their complacency. While he was teaching in the temple courts during the final week of his life on earth, Jesus frequently clashed with the Jewish leaders, who questioned his authority and resisted his invitations to know him as their Savior from sin.

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EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (TAX COLLECTOR PT1)

During the Roman era, tax collectors and the manner in which taxes were collected evolved and varied from one region to the next. Here we offer a general picture of the process that will allow us to appreciate the role tax collectors played in the Gospels. Taxes were paid to both the temple and the state, each of which established its own tax code without consideration of the other. First-century Jews paid a religious tithe of their produce, herd, and flock (Lev 27:30-32); they were also required to pay the half-shekel or two-drachma tax for sanctuary upkeep (Exod 30:13; Matt 17:24). The state demanded taxes that included a poll tax levied on males fourteen to sixty-five years of age and females twelve to sixty-five, real estate tax, customs tax collected at road and harbor stations, a tax on produce that amounted to 10 percent on grain and 20 percent on wine, fruit, and oil, a 1 percent income tax, and sales and inheritance taxes.

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SHAKING JESUS’ FAMILY TREE

The Jews from Matthew’s day would have disagreed. Tradition-minded Jews kept a record of their ancestors partly because certain rights and responsibilities were inherited. Priests descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses. Kings-and the coming Messiah-would descend from David, Israel’s most revered king.

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JESUS’ CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE

After this short visit to Capernaum, Jesus apparently traveled to Jerusalem to observe the Passover festival. Here He found the outer courts of the temple cluttered with merchants who were selling sacrificial animals to pilgrims who had come to the Holy City for the annual Jewish holiday. Other agents were busy exchanging foreign currency for the Jewish coins needed to pay the annual temple tax (John 2:13-25).

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LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT (HEROD AGRIPPA II)

Herod Agrippa II was only seventeen when his father, King Herod Agrippa I died, Emperor Claudius, a close friend of Herod’s father, wanted this young man educated in Rome to assume his father’s throne. But advisers convinced Claudius that the boy was too young. Six years later, in AD 50, Claudius give Herod some territory to rule in what is now Lebanon. Herod later traded that for regions in northern Israel and Syria.

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DEAD SAVIOR

One of the biggest surprises in the Bible is the kind of Messiah God sent to save Israel. Jews expected a warrior. Someone like King David, only better. A leader who would free them from oppressors. restore Israel’s lost glory, and even create heaven on earth.

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DEFINITION OF THE DAY (DEMONIC POSSESSION PT2)

The NT distinguishes between demonic possession and physical disease. Matthew 4:24 states that Jesus healed “all those who were afflicted, those suffering form various diseases and intense pains, the demon-possessed, the epileptics, and the paralytics” (HCSB). Thus the theory that demonic possession should be equated with epilepsy or any other neurotic ailment is weak. Some of the demons made assertions of Christ’s divinity when the disciples did not show such recognition. Mental or physical illness would not impart this type of knowledge (Mark 5:13; Luke 4:33-35; 8:29-33).

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A VISIT TO HEAVEN

In a terrifying vision, Isaiah finds himself standing in heaven’s throne room in the presence of God. The time is 740 BC, the year King Uzziah dies.

“It’s all over!” Isaiah says. “I am doomed, for I am a sinful man” (Isaiah 6:5). He knows God is holy and that sin can’t survive in God’s presence.

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A QUESTION ABOUT THE TEMPLE CLEANSING

Many Bible students are puzzled by the different placement of the cleansing of the temple in the Gospels. John places the temple cleansing here at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. But the synoptic Gospels-Matthew, Mark, and Luke-report that He purged the temple at the close of His public ministry about three years later (Matthew 21:12-19; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48). Did the cleansing of the temple happen once or twice?

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EVERYDAY BIBLE LIFE (CRUCIFY)

The sights, sounds, and smells of any form of public execution are never pleasant, but it is hard to find a method of execution more disturbing than crucifixion. The notion of crucifixion seems to have grown from the practice of impaling lifeless of living persons on a post. This practice morphed into crucifixion and was employed by the Persians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Jews, and eventually Romans.

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