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The rabbis seized this opportunity to try to drive a wedge between Jesus and His disciples.  “Why is your Teacher eating with tax collectors and sinners?”  

The pharisees claimed to be righteous and spiritually strong while they considered the tax collectors and Gentiles to be sick sinners.  Jesus told the rabbis, “Go and study what the scripture means that says, ‘I want kindness more than I want animal sacrifices.”  The rabbis claimed to study and teach the Word of God, but they did not understand its spirit of love.  

Next the Pharisees tried to turn the disciples of John the Baptist against Jesus.  Not long before, they had criticized John for his simple life and clothes and tried to turn people against him.  Now they pointed to him as an example of a holy man.  In contrast, Jesus was known to eat and drink at gatherings with all kinds of sinners, so He must not be a righteous person at all!!  

They would not accept the idea that Jesus was eating with sinners so He could bring light into their dark lives or that His words were dropping into their hearts like seeds that would someday grow into fruit for God.  All they cared about was turning John’s disciples against Jesus.  

John’s disciples followed many of the rules the rabbis taught, including fasting, or going without food.  According to the rabbis, a person should go without food at least once a week ~ the most dedicated ones went without food two days every week to gain religious merit.


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