series: Red Letter City
date: May 22, 2016
teacher: Jacob Bender
scriptures: 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, Matthew 5:27-32, Matthew 19:1-9, Genesis 2:24, Genesis 2:18, Genesis 1:31, Isaiah 1:8, 1 Corinthians 7, Malachi, Jeremiah 3:8, Hebrew 4:15, Isaiah 61, Leviticus 16
In that day, there were two schools of thought that dominated their culture… Two Rabbi’s who lived just before Jesus’ ministry, and they each had two very different yokes. Two very different interpretations of the scriptures, and a lot of the debates in that day, which Jesus was essentially throwing himself into the middle of, in the sermon on the mount… basically were asking this question…
which yoke is it?
Is it Hillel?
Or is it Shammai?
Hillel was always the more liberal one… the burden was extremely light, his yoke was incredibly easy, and normally erred on the side of peoples welfare. He was immensely popular, and was at one point the president of the Sanhedrin (which was like the Jewish Supreme Court).
The other well known Rabbi was Shammai, who tended to be much more conservative… more strict in his interpretation.
So the people would read this verse in Deuteronomy… and they would consider the Ketubahs that they signed their name on…
And what people wanted to know is: what gets me out? Because only a rabbi had the authority to get you out of your marriage, so the question is, “on what grounds will you give me a certificate of divorce?”
And Hillel’s yoke essentially said: indecency is indecency. If she spoils a dish that she is preparing, you can leave. If she burns your toast, and you want out, I will sign your certificate of divorce. Basically his interpretation says, “if you want out, just get out. I will give you a certificate of divorce.”
it was very lax.
But Shammai held a much more strict interpretation. He said, essentially, “no, we can’t do that to women, you can’t throw them out because of burnt toast or because of a bad day… you can only divorce your wife if there is marital unfaithfulness.”
So the people in that day knew what these two rabbi’s thought, and they wanted to know, what does Jesus say?