Explain the reasons why Jesus came into conflict with the Pharisees and Sadducees. (35).
From reading Luke's Gospel, one can see many instances where Jesus comes into conflict with the Pharisees and Sadducees, which climaxed with his death. There were many reasons for the Pharisee and Sadducee hatred of Jesus, such as views on the Sabbath, forgiveness of sin, belief in the resurrection of the dead, etc. However, the religious leaders did not always come into conflict with Jesus in his ministry.
The Pharisees and Sadducees were the main religious groups in the Sanhedrin at the time of Jesus. At the same time there was much hostility between these groups. The Sadducees represented the priviledged, conservative and aristocratic in society. They rejected the belief of resurrections and the afterlife. NT Wright has drawn attention to the political usefulness of the Sadducean beliefs. For example, the Sadducees had a political alliance with the Romans, so their denail of the resurrection, which was used as a metaphor for the restoration of Israel to power, had political advantages. The Pharisees, on the other hand, were more religious. Although the minority, they were more influential as they had the support of the people. Unlike the Sadducees, the Pharisees believed in the afterlife and the resurrection of the dead. They also believed in the strict observance of the written and oral law, for example the observance of the Sabbath. Although both groups had conflict between them, they united against Jesus.
Jesus came into conflict with the Pharisees for a number of reasons. The Pharisees were totally convinced that their laws and religious observances were correct, so the thought of the Messiah breaking these laws was unthinkable to them, therefore they believed that Jesus was commiting blasphemy. They thought…