It seems eerie to me how similar the claims that Roman Catholicism makes are to the claims that the Pharisees and Sanhedrin were making in the time of Christ. The Pharisees claimed to have an oral tradition that wasn’t written down but was handed down through an elder-succession from Sinai to Jesus’ time (which was simply not historically true). They claimed that this tradition was equal in authority to the written Word. They claimed that they had a special right to interpret that Bible and felt more authority than they really possessed. They thought they were sitting in Moses’ seat and carrying the continuation of his authority in their own role.
Well, all of these points are alive and present in the claims of the Roman Catholic Magisterium. They claim to have an oral tradition that wasn’t written down but is equal in authority to the New Testament (which is simply not historically true). They claim to have a special right to interpret the Bible. They claim to have special authority over God’s people due to a claim that they have apostolic succession in their leadership roles. They claim to sit in the seat of Peter and carry the continuation of his authority in their own role. All of the parallels make it really interesting when Jesus simply dismisses the Sanhedrin and the Pharisees in the New Testament.
In other words, we have a sample of how Jesus might respond to modern Roman Catholicism in the way that He responded to the 1st century Sanhedrin. And I think we should respond the same way.
This is part 44 of a verse-by-verse study through the Gospel of Mark. See the WHOLE Gospel of Mark playlist by clicking here.