1: Social Status Doesn't Save From Sin.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him (vs 1-2).The Pharisees, in Jewish history, were the custodians of the Mosaic law. The served as members of the Sanhedrin; "...a kind of Jewish Supreme Court made up of 71 members whose responsibility was to interpret civil and religious laws" (Jewish virtual library). Typical of people with power and authority; they abuse it. "Power", Lord Acton says "corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely". That was the Pharisees; self-righteous, high minded and self-conceited:
Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: [and] bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers." (Matthew 23:1-4).Hypocrites! Jesus called them. (see Matthew 23:13). Between true spirituality and hypocrisy is a very thin line. I pray none of us who names the name of the Lord would be found guilty of hypocrisy. Introspection! The Spirit of God dwells in you. If you crossing that line, you must know. We will do great also with a level of accountability. Hard talking, no nonsense friends who can reprimand us when we err will also be good pals amongst our circle of friends. Iron sharpeneth iron!
The Pharisees were elites of Jewish society. Paul was a Pharisee. Josephus; a Jewish historian was a Pharisee. Nicodemus, clearly, stated, was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews. That puts him in the class of the elites. He was not a riffraff. He had high standing in society. The Pharisees also had political authority. The example of Paul, when he was Saul, throws more light on the power Pharisees had in society:
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem." (Acts 9:1-2).That was how much power Pharisees held in society. All the aforementioned were embodied in Nicodemus, a Pharisee. If such heights of social status was enough to save, he would have had no business seeking after Jesus at night to enquire about his soul and matters of the Kingdom of God. Have you enquired about the state of your soul and its final destination? "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"(Mark 8:36).
To be continued.