BACKGROUND FOR THIS EPISODE
(In Order of Appearance)
NEW TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Matthew 24:23-24 – “At that time, if someone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ don’t believe him. 24False messiahs and false prophets will appear. They will perform such great proofs and miracles to fool people—even God’s chosen people, if that were possible.
- Matthew 12:1-2 – At that time, Jesus was traveling through a field of grain on a sabbath day. His followers were hungry. They began to pick the grain and eat it. 2The Pharisees saw this and said to Jesus, “Look! Your followers are doing what is not right to do on the sabbath day!”
- Matthew 15:3-9 – Jesus answered them, “Why do you break God’s command for the sake of your old rules!? 4God said, ‘You must honor your father and your mother.’ (Exodus 20:12) and ‘The person who curses his father or mother must die.’ (Exodus 21:17) 5But you say if anyone says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever money you might have gotten from me to help you I have given to God instead!’ 6How can people ever honor their parents unless they take care of them!? They can’t! So, because of your tradition, you are taking away the authority of God’s teaching! 7Hypocrites! How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you: 8‘These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. 9It does no good for them to worship Me. They teach rules made by man, not God.’ ” (Isaiah 29:13)
- Matthew 16:1-12 – The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus. They were trying to make Jesus prove to them that he came from heaven. 2Jesus answered them, “When evening begins, you say, ‘It will be good weather tomorrow, because the sky is red.’ 3And, in the morning, you say, ‘Today it will be stormy, because the sky is red and dark.’ You can understand changes in the sky which show a change in the weather, but you cannot understand the signs of change of this time in history. 4The people who are living today are evil and not faithful to God. They ask for a proof from God, but no proof will be given to them except the Jonah miracle.” Then Jesus left them and went away. 5When Jesus’ followers went across Lake Galilee, they forgot to bring along some bread. 6Jesus said to them, “Be careful! Watch out for the yeasta of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” 7They started thinking to themselves, “Jesus must have said this because we didn’t bring along any bread.” 8Jesus knew what was on their minds. He said, “Oh, you have so little faith! Why are you thinking to yourselves, ‘. . . that you have no bread’? 9Do you still not understand!? Do you remember the five loaves of bread which fed the 5,000 men? Do you remember how many large baskets of leftovers you picked up? 10“Do you remember the seven loaves of bread which fed the 4,000 men? Do you remember how many huge baskets of leftovers you picked up? 11Why could you not understand what I said to you!? When I said, ‘Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees,’ I was not talking about literal bread.” 12Then they understood that Jesus was not wanting them to stay away from the yeast used for literal bread. Instead, he wanted them to avoid the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
- John 6:35 – Jesus said to them, “I am the food which gives life. The person who comes to me will never be hungry. The one who commits himself to me will never be thirsty.
- Matthew 22:15-22 – Then the Pharisees came. They had made a plan to trap Jesus with a question. 16The Pharisees sent some of their followers and the followers of Herod Antipas to him. They said, “Teacher, we know that you are true and you teach God’s true way. It does not matter to you what people think. You don’t pay attention to how important someone is. 17So, tell us, what do you think? Is it right that we should pay taxes to Caesar!?a Yes or no!?” 18But Jesus recognized their evil plan. He said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me!? 19Show me the coin for the tax.” They brought a silver coin to him. 20Jesus said to them, “Whose name and picture is on it?” 21They answered, “Caesar’s.” Jesus said to them, “Then give back to Caesar the things which belong to Caesar, and give to God the things which belong to God.” 22When they heard this, they were amazed. They left him and went away.
- Matthew 22:23-33 – That same day, some Sadducees came to Jesus. (Sadducees believed that no one will rise from death.) They asked Jesus, 24“Teacher, Moses said that if someone has no children and he dies, his brother must marry the widow. Then they will have children for his dead brother. 25Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one got married, but died. He left his wife with no children. So, his brother married her. 26In the same way, the second brother, the third brother—all seven brothers—died without having children. 27Last of all, the woman died. 28All seven men had married her. So, when this woman rises from death, whose wife will she be!?” 29Jesus answered them, “You are wrong! You don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power. 30When people rise from death, they don’t marry one another. Instead, they are like angels in heaven. 31Do people rise from death? I know you have read what God said to Moses: 32‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ (Exodus 3:6,15,16) God is not a God of dead people; He is the God of people who are alive!” 33When the crowds heard this, they were very surprised at his teaching.
- Acts 4:5-6 – The next day the Jewish leaders, the elders, and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas (who was the high priest), Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and everyone from the high priest’s family were there.
- John 11:48-49 – If 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!
- Matthew 26:2 – “You know that the day after tomorrow is the Passover Festival.a I will be handed over to be nailed to a cross.”
- John 18:12-15, 24 – The commanding officer, his group of soldiers, and the Jewish temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13They brought him first to Hannas who was Caiaphas’ father-in-law. Caiaphas was the high priest that year.b 14(He had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be better for one man to die for all of the people.c) 15Simon Peter and another follower went along behind Jesus, but the high priest knew the other follower. This man went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard…24Then Annas sent Jesus bound to Caiaphas, the high priest.
- Acts 1:13-15 – Jesus said to them, “The Father is the only One who has the authority to decide such dates and times. It is not for you to know these things.
- Acts 1:1-5 – Dear Theophilus, The first book which I wrote was about everything that Jesus did and taught, 2from the beginning until the day when he was carried up into heaven. He talked to the apostles whom he had chosen. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus told them what they must do. 3After his death, he showed that he was alive. Jesus proved this by doing many convincing things. The apostles saw him several times during 40 days. Jesus was talking about the kingdom of God. 4Once, when he was together with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem. He said, “Wait here for the Father’s promise that you heard me talk about.a 5John immersed people in water, but in a few days, you will be immersed in the Holy Spirit.”
- Acts 1:7 – Jesus said to them, “The Father is the only One who has the authority to decide such dates and times. It is not for you to know these things.
- Acts 1:14 – They were all together. They were constantly praying with the same purpose. Jesus’ brothers, some women, and Mary (the mother of Jesus) were also there.
- Acts 2:38, 41 – Then Peter answered them, “Change your hearts and each one of you must be immersed by the authority of Jesus the Messiah,h so that your sins may be forgiven. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit… !” 41Then those people who accepted what Peter said were immersed. On that day, about 3,000 people were added to the group of believers.
- Acts 4:3 – They arrested Peter and John and put them in jail. It was already evening, so they kept Peter and John in jail until the next day.
- Acts 3:20-21 – Then the Lord will give you times of spiritual rest. He will send you the predicted Messiah—Jesus. 21But Jesus must stay in heaven until the time when all things will be made whole again. God told about these things long ago when He spoke through His holy prophets.
- Mark 16:15-16 – Jesus said to them, “When you have gone into the whole world, proclaim the Good News to all mankind. 16The person who believes it and is immersed will be saved, but the person who doesn’t believe it will be condemned.
- Acts 4:1-31 – While Peter and John were speaking to the people, some men came to them. There were some Jewish priests, the officer of the temple police, and some Sadducees. 2They were upset, because the two apostles were teaching the people. Peter and John were proclaiming that people can rise from death through the power of Jesus. 3They arrested Peter and John and put them in jail. It was already evening, so they kept Peter and John in jail until the next day. 4But, many of the people who had heard Peter and John proclaim believed the things that they said. There were now about 5,000 men in the group of believers. 5The next day the Jewish leaders, the elders, and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas (who was the high priest), Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and everyone from the high priest’s family were there. 7They made Peter and John stand in the center. The Jewish leaders asked them again and again, “How did you make this crippled man well? What name did you use? By whose authority did you do this?” 8Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. He said to them, “You elders and leaders of the people: 9Are you questioning us today about the good thing which was done to this crippled man? Are you asking us who made him well? 10We want all of you and all the people of Israel to know that this man was made well by the authority of Jesus from Nazareth, the Messiah! Although you nailed him to the cross, God raised him from death. This man who was crippled is now well and able to stand here before you because of Jesus! 11Jesus, ‘the Stonea which you builders thought was worthless, has become the Cornerstone.’ (Psalms 118:22) 12Jesus is the only one who can save people. His authority is the only power given to the world by which we can be saved.” 13The Jewish leaders saw that Peter and John were not afraid to speak. They were amazed because they understood that the two men had no education or training. Then they realized that Peter and John had been with Jesus. 14When they saw the man who had been crippled standing there beside the two apostles—that he was healed—they could find nothing to say against the apostles. 15So, the Jewish leaders ordered them to go outside. The Jewish Council wanted to talk among themselves. 16They asked, “What should we do with them? Everyone who lives in Jerusalem knows that these men have performed a great miracle! That is clear. We cannot deny it. 17However, we must make them afraid to talk to anyone about this man Jesus. Then this problem will not spread among the people.” 18So, the Jewish leaders called in Peter and John again. They warned the apostles not to say anything or to teach anything by the authority of Jesus. 19But Peter and John answered them, “What do you think is right? What would God want? Should we obey you or God? 20We are not able to be silent. We must tell people about the things we saw and heard.” 21-22The Jewish leaders could not find a way to punish the apostles, because all of the people were praising God for what had been done. (This miracle was a proof from God. The man who was healed was more than 40 years old!) So, the Jewish leaders threatened them again and then let them go free.23Peter and John left the meeting of the Jewish leaders and went to their own group. They told the group everything which the most important priests and the Jewish elders had said to them. 24When they heard this, they prayed to God with one purpose, “Master, You are the One who made the land, the sea, the sky, and everything in the world. 25Our ancestor, David, was Your servant. With the help of the Holy Spirit he wrote these words: ‘Why were the nations so mad? Why did the people of the world plan things against God? That is hopeless! 26Why did the kings and the rulers of the earthcome together against the Lord God and against His Messiah?’ (Psalms 2:1-2) 27These words came true when Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate, the nations of the world, and the Jewish people all ‘came together’ against Jesus here in Jerusalem. Jesus is Your holy servant, the one You made Messiah. 28These people who ‘came together’ against Jesus made Your plan come true; it happened because of Your power and Your will. 29And now, Lord, listen to what they are saying. They are trying to make us afraid! Lord, we are Your servants. Help us to speak the things You want us to say without fear. 30Show your power: make sick people well, give proofs, and cause miracles to take place by the power of Jesus, Your holy servant.” 31After the believers prayed, the place where they were meeting shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak God’s message without fear.
- Acts 5:12-42 – The apostles did many miracles and powerful things among the people. The apostles were together in Solomon’s Porch;c they all had the same purpose. 13None of the other believers dared to join the apostles, but all of the people were saying good things about them. 14And more and more people—men and women—were added to the group of those who believed in the Lord Jesus. 15People began to bring their sick people into the streets. They put their sick people on little beds and mattresses for Peter’s shadow to touch them when he came by.d 16They were coming from all the towns around Jerusalem. They brought their sick people and those who were bothered by evil spirits. All of these people were healed. 17The high priest and all of his friends (a sect called the Sadducees) became very jealous. 18They grabbed the apostles and put them in the public jail, 19but, during the night, an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the jail. The angel led the apostles outside and said, 20“Go and stand in the temple courtyard. Tell the people everything about this new life in Jesus.” 21When the apostles heard this, they went into the temple courtyard. It was early in the morning. The apostles began to teach the people. The high priest and his friends came together. They called a meeting of the Jewish leaders and all the important older men of the sons of Israel. They sent some men to the jail to bring the apostles to them. 22When the guards came to the jail, they couldn’t find the apostles there. So, they went back and told this to the Jewish leaders. 23They said, “The jail was shut and locked. The guards were standing at the gates, but when we opened the doors, no one was in there!” 24The captain of the temple guards and the most important priests heard this. They were confused. They wondered, “What will happen because of this?” 25Then another man came and told them, “Listen! The men you had put in jail are standing in the temple courtyard. They are teaching the people!” 26Then the captain and his men went out and brought the apostles back. However, the soldiers did not use force, because they were afraid of the people. The people might become angry and kill the soldiers with stones. 27The soldiers brought the apostles to the Jewish Council and made them stand before their leaders. The high priest questioned the apostles. 28He said, “We warned you never to teach with this man Jesus’ authority, but look what you’ve done! You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching. You are trying to put the blame on us for the death of this man Jesus.” 29Peter and the other apostles answered, “We must obey God, not men! 30The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus from death. He is the one you killed, having hung him upon a cross of wood. 31Jesus is the one whom God raised to His right side to be our Leader and Savior. God did this, so that Israel could have the opportunity to change their hearts. Then God could forgive their sins. 32We saw all of these things happen. The Holy Spirit has shown you that we are telling you the truth! God has given the Spirit to those who obeyed Him.” 33When the Jewish leaders heard these words, they became very angry. They started to make plans to kill the apostles. 34One of the Pharisees in the Jewish Council stood up. His name was Gamaliel. He was a teacher of the law, and all of the people respected him. He ordered the men to take the apostles outside for a few minutes. 35Then he said to the Jewish leaders, “Men of Israel, be careful of what you are about to do to these men! 36Remember when Theudas appeared? He claimed that he was an important man. About 400 men joined him, but he was killed. And all of the men who followed him were scattered. They were never able to do anything. 37Later, a man named Judas came from Galilee. It was at the time of the registration.e He also led a group of followers away but he was destroyed and all his followers were scattered. 38So now I tell you: Stay away from these men! Leave them alone. If this plan or this effort comes from human beings, it will fail. 39But if this is from God, then you will not be able to stop them. You might even be fighting against God Himself!” 40The Jewish leaders then agreed with what Gamaliel said. They called in the apostles again. They whipped the apostles and commanded them not to talk to the people ever again about the name of Jesus. After that, they let them go free. 41The apostles left the Jewish Council, but they were happy, because they were given the honor of suffering dishonor for the name of Jesus. 42The apostles didn’t stop teaching people. They kept on telling the people the Good News that Jesus is the Messiah. Every day they did this in the temple courtyard and in each home.
OLD TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Deuteronomy 25:5-6 – Moses continued, “Suppose two brothers are staying together. And, one of them dies without leaving a child.c His widow must not marry someone else outside her husband’s family. Her husband’s brother must go to bed with her, taking her as his wife. As the brother-in-law, this is his duty to her.d 6The firstborn son that she has must be named after the dead brother. Then the dead brother’s name will not be forgotten from Israel.
- Psalm 31:1-5 – <To the director of music. A psalm of David.> O Yahweh, I trust in You. Let me never be disgraced.a Save me because You do what is right. 2Listen to me. Rescue me quickly. Be a solid Rock of Strength to me, a Strong Fortress to save me. 3You are my Rock and my Fortress. For the sake of Your Name, lead me and guide me. 4Set me free from the trap that they set for me. You are my Protection.5I put my spirit into Your hands.b Redeem me, O Yahweh, God of truth.
- Psalm 9:9-12 – Yahweh defends those who suffer. He protects them in times of trouble. 10Those who know Yahwehe trust in Him. O Yahweh, You have never abandoned anyone who continues to seek You. 11Sing praises to Yahweh who dwells on Mount Zion.f Tell the nations what He has done. 12He remembers who the murderers were.g He will not forget the cries of those who suffer.
- Psalm 23:1-6 – <A psalma of David.> Yahweh is my Shepherd.b I have everything I need. 2He gives me rest in green pastures.c He leads me beside calm waters.3He gives me new strength.d For the sake of His Name, He guides me in paths that are right.e 4Even if I walk through a very dark valley,f I will not be afraid of anything bad, because You are with me.g Your rodh and Your walking-sticki comfort me.j 5You prepare a banquet for me in front of my enemies. You pour oil onk my head. You bless me abundantly. 6Surely Your goodness and love will be with me all of my life. And, I will dwell in the House of Yahweh forever!
Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. 13, 10:6 – What I would now explain is this, that the Pharisees have delivered to the people a great many observances by succession from their fathers, which are not written in the laws of Moses; and for that reason it is that the Sadducees reject them, and say that we are to esteem those observances to be obligatory which are in the written word, but are not to observe what are derived from the tradition of our forefathers. And concerning these things it is that great disputes and differences have arisen among them, while the Sadducees are able to persuade none but the rich, and have not the populace obsequious to them, but the Pharisees have the multitude on their side. But about these two sects, and that of the Essens, I have treated accurately in the second book of Jewish affairs.
Wars of the Jews, Bk. 2, 8:14 – But the Sadducees are those that compose the second order, and take away fate entirely, and suppose that God is not concerned in our doing or not doing what is evil; and they say, that to act what is good, or what is evil, is at men’s own choice, and that the one or the other belongs so to every one, that they may act as they please. They also take away the belief of the immortal duration of the soul, and the punishments and rewards in Hades. Moreover, the Pharisees are friendly to one another, and are for the exercise of concord, and regard for the public; but the behavior of the Sadducees one towards another is in some degree wild, and their conversation with those that are of their own party is as barbarous as if they were strangers to them. And this is what I had to say concerning the philosophic sects among the Jews.
Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. 20, 9:1 – And now Cæsar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, 23 who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent. 24 Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.
SPECIAL CHARACTERS APPEARING IN OTHER EPISODES
Season 2, Hearts Afire, “Holier Than Thou”
Season 5, Promise Keeper, “High and Unmighty”
Season 6, Shadow of Death, “Sleeping Giant”