The biggest opposition Jesus faced were the religious of His day. They couldn’t stand Jesus. They couldn’t stand what He represented. The holiness and righteousness that Jesus offered was nothing like the religion of the Jews.
Jesus had it all wrong.
• He couldn’t care less about the religious codes of ritual purity.
• People and their hurts and needs were always of greater concern than the keeping of the religious Sabbath laws.
• Jesus just wasn’t kosher. Jesus just wasn’t holy according to their religious standards. Because if He was holy, He would know how dirty and impure these people were.
And the most amazing thing about these religious people were that they could somehow take the incredible message of the God who is for us, and turn it against the very people who needed this God the most.
And in our day, if Jesus were walking earth in 2008, I am positive that Jesus would see beyond the tattoos, the piercings, the long hair, the clothes, sexual deviancies, the loud music, sins of all the people to see a child of God who desperately needed to find themselves in the grace of God.
And in the presence of Jesus, regardless of who you were, you were welcomed, received, and made to feel like you were the only one that mattered to God. So much so that God would send His only begotten Son to die for them so that whoever would believe in such a God would be made a child of God and would never die but have eternal life.
And friends, I am so disturbed and disgusted by how much I am not like this Jesus, and how my life and faith has been more like the religious leaders of His day who crucified Jesus.
There’s something terribly wrong when Christ-followers of today are better known for what we are against – against gays, against sex, against change, against freedom, against choice, when Jesus is the greatest example of a God who is for people.
And we have to ask ourselves, are we more like Jesus or the Pharisees and the Sadducees of His day?