* What does an accusation mean?
The definition of an accusation is a charge of wrongdoing, often false; to charge with wrongdoing
* Untrue accusations against Jesus
Standing before Pilate, the religious leaders accused Jesus of a different crime than the ones for which they had arrested him. They arrested him for blasphemy (claiming to be God), but that charge would mean nothing to the Romans. So the religious leaders had to accuse Jesus of crimes that would have concerned the Roman government, such as encouraging the people not to pay taxes, claiming to be a king, and causing riots. These accusations were not true, but the religious leaders were determined to kill Jesus, and they broke several commandments in order to do so. (NLT)
Matthew 27:12 – But when the leading priests and other leaders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent.
* Jesus’ warning that Moses will accuse them
The Pharisees prided themselves on being the true followers of their ancestor Moses. They were trying to follow every one of his laws to the letter, and they even added some of their own. Jesus’ warning that Moses would accuse them stung them to fury. (NLT)
John 5:45 – [Jesus said] “Yet it is not I who will accuse you of this before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, on whom you set your hopes.”
* Accusations against Stephen
When Stephen was brought before the council of religious leaders, the accusation against him was the same that the religious leaders had used against Jesus (Matthews 26:59-611). The group falsely accused Stephen of wanting to change Moses’ customs, because they knew that the Sadducees, who controlled the council, believed only in Moses’ laws. (NLT)
Acts 6:14 – “We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”
* Evaluate accusations against God’s workers
These Jews knew how effective Paul’s work had been in Asia. Their strategy was to discredit Paul so that his work would be weakened. Be alert when you hear accusations against God’s workers. Someone may be trying to discredit them or to hinder their work. Keep an open mind and pray for the workers. They will be strengthened by your support. (NLT)
Acts 21:28-29 – They grabbed him, yelling, “Men of Israel! Help! This is the man who teaches against our people and tells everybody to disobey the Jewish laws. He speaks against the Temple—and he even defiles it by bringing Gentiles in!” (For earlier that day they had seen him in the city with Trophimus, a Gentile from Ephesus, and they assumed Paul had taken him into the Temple.)
* Accusations against Paul
The accusers arrived: Ananias, the high priest; Tertullus, the lawyer; and several Jewish leaders. They traveled 60 miles to Caesarea, the Roman center of government, to bring their false accusations against Paul. Their murder plot had failed (Acts 23:12-154), but they persisted in trying to kill him. This attempt at murder was both premeditated and persistent. (NLT)
Acts 24:1 – Five days later Ananias, the high priest, arrived with some of the Jewish leaders and the lawyer Tertullus, to press charges against Paul.
* Your conscience may accuse you
People are condemned not for what they don’t know but for what they do with what they know. Those who know God’s written Word and his law will be judged by them. Those who have never seen a Bible still know right from wrong, and they will be judged because they violated those standards that their own consciences dictated. God’s law is written within them. (NLT)
Romans 2:12-16 – God will punish the Gentiles when they sin, even though they never had God’s written law. And he will punish the Jews when they sin, for they do have the law. For it is not merely knowing the law that brings God’s approval. Those who obey the law will be declared right in God’s sight. Even when Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, instinctively follow what the law says, they show that in their hearts they know right from wrong. They demonstrate that God’s law is written within them for their own consciences either accuse them or tell them they are doing what is right. The day will surely come when God, by Jesus Christ, will judge everyone’s secret life. This is my message.
1 The high council was the most powerful religious and political body of the Jewish people. Although the Romans controlled Israel’s government, they gave the people power to handle religious disputes and some civil disputes, so the high council made many of the local decisions affecting daily life. But a death sentence had to be approved by the Romans (John 18:312).
The high council tried to find witnesses who would distort some of Jesus’ teachings. Finally, they found two witnesses who distorted Jesus’ words about the Temple (see John 2:193). They claimed that Jesus had said he could destroy the Temple—a blasphemous boast. Actually Jesus had said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Jesus, of course, was talking about his body, not the building. Ironically, the religious leaders were about to destroy Jesus’ body just as he had said, and three days later he would rise from the dead. (NLT)
Matthews 26:59-61 – Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death. But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, there was no testimony they could use. Finally, two men were found who declared, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
2 John 18:31 – “Then take him away and judge him by your own laws,” Pilate told them. “Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied.
3 The Jews understood Jesus to mean the Temple out of which he had just driven the merchants and money changers. This was the Temple Zerubbabel had built over 500 years earlier, but Herod the Great had begun remodeling it, making it much larger and far more beautiful. It had been 46 years since this remodeling had started (20 B.C.), and it still wasn’t completely finished. They understood Jesus’ words to mean that this imposing building could be torn down and rebuilt in three days, and they were startled. (NLT)
John 2:19 – “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
“What!” they exclaimed. “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can do it in three days?” But by “this temple,” Jesus meant his body.
4 When the Pharisee/Sadducee controversy died down, the religious leaders refocused their attention on Paul. To these leaders, politics and position had become more important than God. They were ready to plan another murder, just as they had done with Jesus. But as always, God was in control. (NLT)
Acts 23:12-15 – The next morning a group of Jews got together and bound themselves with an oath to neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty of them. They went to the leading priests and other leaders and told them what they had done, “We have bound ourselves under oath to neither eat nor drink until we have killed Paul. You and the high council should tell the commander to bring Paul back to the council again,” they requested. “Pretend you want to examine his case more fully. We will kill him on the way.”
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