AMP - 3 And Pharisees came to Him and put Him to the test by asking, Is it lawful and right to dismiss and repudiate and divorce one's wife for any and every cause?
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The verse itself answers the question. The word "test" means: to try, make trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining his quality, or what he thinks, or how he will behave himself (in a good sense) In a bad sense, which would be the Pharisees intent it means: to test one maliciously, craftily to put to the proof his feelings or judgments Mat 22:18; Mar 12:15; Luke 20:23; All through scripture the Pharisees and Sadducees and Religious leaders sought to trap Jesus because he was more popular than themselves and they feared their position of authority was being undermined. They 'felt' since THEY were the 'leaders' that when the 'TRUE' Messiah came he would 'exalt' their position but this man claimed to be the Son of God (blasphemy) Jn 5:18; Jn 7:1; broke 'Jewish laws' (they felt) by healing on the Sabbath day, Matt 12:10; Mar 3:2; Luke 6:7; and picking grains of wheat and eating them. Matt 12:1; Mrk 2:23; Luke 6:1 He did not 'fit' into their "box" of what the Messiah would be and how he would act, OR where he would come from. They KNEW Jesus parents and his siblings and proclaimed He was NOT the messiah, because they would NOT know where the Messiah came from. Jn 7:27; They minds were made up and they were NOT going to be 'confused' by TRUTH (ie: proof) out of their own Torah. Jesus was a source of much frustration to the religious leaders, and those who felt they 'knew' how the Messiah would come & what He would be like; but a great source of hope, comfort and God's love to the 'common man' searching for truth and "The Way".
They wanted Jesus to answer with a universal negative (a universal proposition that denies something of all members of a class), which they thought would be contrary to the law of Moses. If He did, they would have trapped Him.
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