BACKGROUND FOR THIS EPISODE
(In Order of Appearance)
NEW TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Matthew 15:2 – “Why are your followers breaking the old rules of the elders!? When your followers eat, they do not wash their hands!”
- John 3:1-13 – There was a man named Nicodemus. He was a Jewish leader, one of the Pharisees. 2This man came to Jesus at night. Nicodemus said to him, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. No one could do these miracles which you are performing, if God were not with him.” 3Jesus answered him, “I am telling you the truth: If a person is not born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God!” 4Nicodemus asked him, “When a man is already old, how can he be reborn? It is not possible for him to go inside his mother’s womb the second time and be born!” 5Jesus answered, “I am telling you the truth: If a person is not born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God! 6What has been born from human beings is human. And, what has been born from the Spirit is spiritual. 7Don’t be surprised because I said this to you: ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it wishes. You hear the sound of it, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It is the same way with everyone who has been born from the Spirit.” 9Nicodemus answered Jesus, “How can these things happen?” 10Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of the people of Israel, and you don’t know these things? 11I am telling you the truth: We are talking about what we know. We are telling the truth about what we have seen. But you are not accepting our truth. 12Since I am talking to you about earthly things and you are not believing them, if I were to tell you about heavenly things, how could you believe? 13I am the only one who ever came down from heaven; no one else has ever gone up to heaven.
- John 3:16-17, 22 – God loved the people of the world so much that He gave up His one and onlyb Son. Every person who commits himself to Jesus will not be destroyed. Instead, that person will have eternal life. 17God did not send His Son into the world to judge it. God sent Jesus, so that the people of the world could be saved through him…But the person who is living the truth comes toward the Light. He wants his actions to become clear, because he did them for God.
- John 4:1-3 – The Pharisees heard that Jesus was making more followers and immersing more people than John. 2(Jesus was really not the one who performed the immersion; his followers did it.) 3When Jesus learned of this, he left [the province/state of] Judea and went back to the land [province/state] of Galilee.
- John 3:18-19 – The person who commits himself to Jesus is not condemned, but the one who does not commit himself to Jesus has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: The Light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness more than they loved the Light, because the things which they were doing were evil.
- John 7:1-2,10, 14, 32, 45-52 – After this, Jesus was traveling around in the land of Galilee. He didn’t want to go to the land of Judea, because the Jewish leaders were trying to kill him. 2The time for the Jewish Festival of Tentsa was near…10After Jesus’ brothers went up to Jerusalem for the feast, Jesus also went up there, but Jesus did it secretly…14The festival was already half over when Jesus came up to Jerusalem to the temple. Jesus began to teach the people…32The Pharisees heard the crowd arguing these things about Jesus. The most important priests and the Pharisees sent some guards to arrest Jesus…45Later, the guards came back to the most important priests and Pharisees. They asked the guards, “Why didn’t you bring back Jesus?” 46The guards answered, “No man ever spoke like this!” 47The Pharisees answered them, “You haven’t been fooled, have you? 48None of the Jewish leaders or the Pharisees have believed in Jesus, have they? 49This crowd is ignorant of the law. They should be condemned!” 50Nicodemus was one of the Pharisees. (Remember, he had come to Jesus before.d) He said to them, 51“Our law does not condemn a man without hearing from him first. We must find out what he is doing.” 52They answered Nicodemus, “Are you also from Galilee? Search the Scriptures and you will see that no prophet comes from Galilee.” e
- Matthew 19:3-12 – Some Pharisees came to Jesus. They were testing him with this question: “Is it all right for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?” 4Jesus answered, “You have read this: ‘In the beginning, when God created people, he made them male and female.’ (Genesis 1:27) 5He said, ‘A man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. The husband and wife will become one flesh.’ (Genesis 2:24) 6So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Man must not separate what God has joined together.” 7The Pharisees said to Jesus, “Then why did Moses give this command: ‘A man who divorces his wife must give her divorce papers.’?” (Deuteronomy 24:1) 8Jesus said to them, “Your hearts were hard, so Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but it was not like that from the very beginning. 9I am telling you, unless sexual sin is the reason, if a man divorces his wife and marries another woman, he commits adultery.” 10Jesus’ followers said to him, “If this is the true relationship between a husband and his wife, it would be better not to marry!”11But Jesus said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching—only those to whom it has been given. 12There are some men who cannot have sexual relations; they were born like that. Others were made that way by man. And, some did that to themselves because of the kingdom of heaven. Let the person who is able to accept it accept it.”
- Matthew 23:1-39 [Sermon on the Mount] – Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his followers. 2He said, “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat of authority. 3Therefore, do everything they tell you. Do what they say, but don’t do as they do, because they say one thing and do another. 4They bind heavy loads and put them on people’s shoulders, but they don’t want to lift a finger to help move them. 5Everything they do, they do so that people will notice them. They show off their phylacteriesa and they make their tasselsb long. 6They like to have the best seats at the dinners and the most important seats in the synagogues.c 7They like the greetings of respect which people give them in the marketplaces. They like for people to call them, ‘Rabbi.’d 8You should not be called ‘Rabbi,’ because there is only one teacher for you. You are all brothers. 9On earth, you should not be called ‘Father,’ because you have only one Father—the heavenly Father. 10You should not be called, ‘Leader’ because the Messiah is your only Leader. 11The most important one among you will be your servant. 12Every person who acts as though he is important will be made ashamed, but every person who truly humbles himself will be made important.” of the law and Pharisees. You hypocrites! You shut the door to the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You will not go in, and you stop those who are trying to get in. 14 e 15“It will be horrible for you, O teachers of the law and Pharisees. You hypocrites! You travel all over the worldf to make just one convert. And when you convert him, you make him twice as much a child of hell as you are! 16“It will be horrible for you, you blind guides who say, ‘It is not important if someone makes a vow to God by the temple sanctuary. But, if someone makes a vow to God by the gold in the temple sanctuary, then he is guilty!’ 17You are foolish and blind! What is more important!? The gold or the temple sanctuary which makes the gold holy!? 18You also say, ‘If someone vows to God by the altar, it does not matter. But, if someone vows to God by the gift on the altar, then he is guilty!’ 19You blind men! Which is more important!? The gift or the altar which makes the gift holy!? 20The person who vows to God by the altar vows to God by the altar and everything on the altar! 21The person who vows to God by the temple sanctuary vows by the sanctuary and by the One who dwells there! 22The person who vows to God by heaven vows to God by God’s throne and the One who sits upon it! 23“It will be horrible for you, O teachers of the law and Pharisees. You hypocrites! It is true that you give God ten percent of everything you have. You even give him ten percent of your spices—mint, dill, and cummin. But, you forget about the more important things in the law—being fair to other people, showing mercy, and faith. You should always tithe, but you must remember to do the more important things, too. 24You blind guides! You strain out the gnat,g but you swallow the camel! 25“It will be horrible for you, O teachers of the law and Pharisees. You hypocrites! You wash the outside of the cup or the bowl. But inside, there are the things you got by cheating other people and pleasing only yourselves. 26Blind Pharisees! Make the inside of the cup clean first, so that the outside of it will be clean, too. 27“It will be horrible for you, O teachers of the law and Pharisees. You hypocrites! You are like tombs which have been painted white. They seem to be very beautiful outside, but inside they are full of all kinds of filth and the bones of dead people. 28You are the same way. Outside you seem good to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and sin!” 29“It will be horrible for you, O teachers of the law and Pharisees. You hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets. You decorate the graves of good people. 30You claim: ‘If we had lived in the time of our ancestors, we would not have helped them kill the prophets.’ 31So, you are admitting you are the sons of the men who murdered the prophets! 32You are finishing what your ancestors started. 33“You snakes! You are from a family of poisonous snakes! How will you escape the judgment of hell!? 34Look! I am sending you prophets, wise men, and teachers of the law. You will kill some of them and you will nail others to crosses. You will whip some of them in your synagogues. You will chase them from town to town. 35You will have to answer for the death of every good person who has been killed on earth. You will have to answer for all the spilled blood from the murder of innocent Abel to the murder of Zechariah, the son of Barachiah.h You murdered Zechariah between the temple sanctuary and the altar. 36I am telling you the truth: All these things will happen to the people of this generation!” 37“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets. God sent you His men, but you stoned them to death. I have often wanted to gather up your people, as a hen gathers up her baby chicks under her wings, but you refused. 38Listen! Your house is completely abandoned. 39I tell you, you will never see me again until you say, ‘Praise to the one who is coming with the authority of the Lord God.’ ”
- Matthew 21:23-32 – Jesus went into the temple courtyard. He was teaching the people. The most important priests and some of the Jewish elders came to him. They asked, “What sort of authority do you have to do these things!? Who gave you this authority!?” 24Jesus answered them, “I will ask you a question, too. If you answer me, then I will tell you what sort of authority I have to do these things. 25Where did John’s immersion come from? Was it from Godf or from man?” They began thinking to themselves: “If we say, ‘From God,’ then he will say this to us: ‘Why didn’t you therefore believe John!?’ 26But if we say, ‘From man,’ then we are afraid of the crowd. All of them thought of John as a prophet.” 27They answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Jesus said to them, “Then I am not telling you what sort of authority I have to do these things.” 28Jesus said to them, “What do you think? A man had two sons. The man came to the first son and said, ‘Son, go work in the vineyard today.’ 29-31He answered, ‘Yes sir,’ but he did not go. Then the man went to the second son and said the same thing. The son answered, ‘I don’t want to!’ but later he changed his mind and went. Which of the two sons did what their father wanted?” The Jewish leaders answered, “The second one.” Jesus said to them, “I am telling you the truth: The tax collectors and prostitutes will go into the kingdom of God before you ever do! 32John came to you announcing the way of righteousness, but you did not believe him. However, the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. You saw this, but you did not change your mind later to believe what John was saying.”
- John 11:47-50 – he most important priests and the Pharisees called a meeting. They asked each other, “What are we going to do? This man is performing many miracles! 48If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him. Then the Romans will come and take us away—our holy place and our nation.” 49One of them was Caiaphas. He was the high priest that year. He said to them, “You know nothing! 50Don’t you think it would be better for one man to die for the people, than for the whole nation to be destroyed?”
- John 12:12-13, 19 – The next day, a large crowd came to the festival. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13they took branches from palm trees and went out to meet him. They were shouting, “Hosanna! Give praise to the king of Israel who is coming with the authority of the Lord God.”…19Then the Pharisees said to one another, “Look! Nothing we do does any good. Behold, everyone is following Jesus!”
- Luke 23:33, 44 – There some men nailed Jesus to his cross. They also nailed the criminals to their crosses; Jesus’ cross was between the crosses of the two criminals…44It was about noon, but the whole area became dark until three o’clock in the afternoon.
OLD TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Deuteronomy 11:18 – Remember these words in your hearts and in your souls. Write them down and tie them to your forearms as a sign. Tie them on your foreheads to remind you.
- Deuteronomy 6:6-9, 12 – These words which I am commanding you today will be on your heart. 7And, you must teachf them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house, and when you walk on the road, when you lie down, and when you get up.g 8You must write them down and tie them to your arms as a sign. And, they will be on your forehead between your eyes to remind you.h 9And, you must write them on the doorpostsi of your houses, and on your gates…12be sure that you do not forget the Always-Present One. He is the One who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of slavery.
- I Kings 6:7-10 – The stones were preparedn at the same spot where they were cut out of the ground. These stones were the only ones used to build the temple. So, there was no noise from hammers, axes, or any other iron tools at the temple site. 8The entrance to the bottom rooms built alongside the temple was on the south side. From there, stairs went up to the rooms of the second floor. And from there, they went on up to the rooms of the third floor. 9Solomon put a roof on the temple. It was made from wooden beams and cedar boards. So, he finished building the temple. 10He also finished building the bottom floor that was beside the temple. It was 7½ feet high. It was attached to the temple by the cedar beams.
- Nehemiah 10:39 – The people of Israel and the Levites must bring their gifts to the storerooms. These are the offerings of the grain, the new wine, and the fresh olive oil. The items of the sanctuary are kept in the storerooms—where the priests who are serving, the gatekeepers, and the singers live. “We will not ignore the temple of our God!”
- Numbers 11:24-25 – 24Pethahiah, the son of Meshezabel, was the king’s spokesman. Pethahiah was a descendant of Zerah, the son of Judah. 25Some of the Jews lived in villages next to their fields. Some of them lived in Kiriath-Arbab and its vicinity.c Some lived in Dibon and its vicinity. Some lived in Jekabzeel and its vicinity
- Ezekiel 11:19 – I will give them a unified mind.o I will put a new spirit inside them.p I will take out the stubborn, stony heart from their bodies. Then I will give them an obedient heart of flesh.
- Ezekiel 18:31 – Get rid of all the sins that you have committed against Me! And, get yourselves a new hearthh and a new spirit.ii Why should you people die, O people of Israel?jj
- Ezekiel 36:25-26 – Then I will sprinkle clean waterff upon you,gg and you will become clean. I will cleanse you from all your uncleannesshh and from all your idols. 26Also, I will teach you to respect Me completely.ii I will put a new way of thinking inside you.jj I will take out the stubborn heart—one that is like stone—from your bodies. And, I will give you an obedient heart of flesh.kk
- Ezekiel 37:2-5,9 [PROPHESIED 590 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] – He led me back and forth among the bones. And, look, there were many, many bones on the valley floor. I saw that the bones were very dry. 3Then he asked me, “O human being, could these bones live!?”d I answered, “O Lord Yahweh, You are the only One who knows that.” 4Yahweh said to me, “Prophesy to these bones.e Tell them this: ‘O dry bones, hear the Word of Yahweh!’ 5This is what the Lord Yahweh says to these bones: ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you. Then you will live… 9Then God said to me, “Prophesy to the breath.j Prophesy, O human being, and say to the breath: ‘This is what the Lord Yahweh says: “O breath, come from the four winds.k Breathe into these people who were killed, so that they can live again!” ’ ”
- Isaiah 26:18-19 [PROPHESIED 700 YEARS BEFORE JESUS] – In the same way, we were pregnant, and then we had pain. We gave birth, but only to wind.n We don’t bring salvation to the land.o We don’t make new people for the world.p 19Your people have died, but they will live again. Their bodies will rise from death.q O dead people in the ground, get up and be happy!r The dew that covers you is like the dew of a new day.s The ground will give birth to the dead people who are buried in it.
OTHER JESUS QUOTES IN THIS EPISODE
RABBI SOLOMON GANZFRIED:
- Code of Jewish Law, Vol. I, 1:2-7, Laws Upon Awakening in the Morning – While still in bed you should recite: I give thanks to You, living and everlasting King for You have restored my soul with mercy. Great is Your faithfulness. (Even though your hands are not yet clean, you may say this, since the name of Hashem is not mentioned.) You should pause slightly between the word chemlah “with mercy,” and the word, rabbah “great.” …the requirement to be swift to close your eyes to prevent the seeing of evil because the sight of evil constitutes the beginning of sin…Therefore, it is imperative for a person to be strong as a lion. Immediately upon awakening (and reciting the Modeh Ani prayer) you should rise with alacrity for the service of the Creator, Blessed and Elevated is He, before you are over-whelmed by your evil impulse with various excuses not to rise…If you cannot rise at midnight, you should nevertheless exert yourself to rise before daybreak, …You may recite TikunChatzos, even after midnight and then afterwards engage in Torah study according to your ability [or capacity]. A lesson in Mishnah is preferable to any other study, (and by so doing you will be worthy of [your] neshamah [soul] [as inferred from the word] Mishnah which has the same letters as neshamah.12 If you are not capable of this [studying Mishnah], you should recite Psalms and Ma’amados13 and study works of ethics…Chapters of the Psalms, and other sections of the Torah, Prophets and Scriptures, in which all are not sufficiently fluent, must not be recited by heart. Even someone who knows [them sufficiently] to recite them by heart should be careful not to recite them by heart.16However, a blind person may recite them by heart… proper conclusion is: “Blessed is the One Who listens to prayer,” omitting the Name of Hashem.
- ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, BOOK. XX, 9:2 (FOOTNOTE BY TRANSLATOR) – Ananas…had been esteemed high priest for a long time; and, besides Caiaphas, his son-in-law, had five of his own sons high priests after him….for twenty-three years….made him a sort of perpetual high priest.
SPECIAL CHARACTERS APPEARING IN OTHER EPISODES
Season 8, Star Song, “Lost in Wonder”
Season 2, Hearts Afire, “Holier Than Thou”
Season 2, Hearts Afire, “Shackled”
Season 4, Flood Gates, “True Colors”
Season 2, Hearts Afire, “The Traitor”
Season 3, Folk Hero, “Cosmic Chaos”
Season 4, Flood Gates, “Portals of Paradise”
Season 5, Promise Keeper, “Day Extraordinaire”
Season 6, Shadow of Death, “The Substitute”
Season 6, Shadow of Death, “Victorious Dying”
Season 6, Shadow of Death, “Sleeping Giant”