The religious authorities indeed had authority to stone sinners under the Law of Moses, and the New Testament affirms this fact (Saint Stephen and the lady brought to Jesus for adultery are two examples). So the question is: Why did the religious authorities allow Jesus to live for three years before Passion Week, and what happened during Passion Week that convinced the religious authorities that Jesus must die? Do you recall John 11, where the High Priest Caiaphas (KNOWING who Jesus was) says this about Jesus: "49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” 51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life." For 2,000 years Christianity has forgotten that the high-ranking religious leaders of Jerusalem KNEW that Jesus was the Messiah (you see, they had agents inside the Jesus Sect camp watching Jesus' miracles! I bet you never though of that, did you?), and when Jesus entered Jerusalem with the mob (which was a direct hostile act towards Rome), the religious leaders knew that it was time for Jesus to die so that the "...scattered children of God, [would be brought] together and make them one." Now ask yourself this question: Why did Pontius Pilate refuse to arrest and kill Jesus for those same three years before Passion Week? Remember, people like Jesus were immediately arrested and killed, which is why John the Baptist confined his ministry in Perea across the Jordan River! Also ask yourself why the next nine Roman governors of Judea are also refusing to execute Jesus’ disciples who are still performing “rebellious” miracles and attracting crowds? Then ask yourself why the religious authorities of Galilee and Judea are also protecting the followers of Jesus, where that community is tens of thousands in number in Jerusalem alone by the time of Paul’s third trip back to the city?
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