17. Journey to the cross: The scheme against Jesus

For many believers, Jesus has the reputation of being soft and against conflict of any kind  However, if you read the gospel accounts of His ministry, you’ll find that this simply isn’t so.  As a matter of fact, the Son of God seemed to go out of his way to boldly criticize and irritate the religious and political authorities of His day. Here are a few examples …

 

“Some Pharisees and teachers of the Law [of Moses] said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.’

He answered, ‘A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!’”  (Matthew 12:38-39, NIV)

*   *   *

 “Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: ‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.’ (Luke 12:1, NIV)

*   *   *

“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. … When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell you the truth, you do not believe me! … The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.’”  (John 8:42-45, NIV)

*   *   *

“One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. ‘Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,’ they said. ‘Who gave you this authority?’

He replied, ‘I will also ask you a question. Tell me: John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?’

They discussed it among themselves and said, ‘If we say, “From heaven,” he will ask, “Why didn’t you believe him?” But if we say, “Of human origin,” all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.’

So they answered, ‘We don’t know where it was from.’

Jesus said, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.’

*   *   *

“Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him.” (Matthew 26:3-4, NIV)

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: 

Jesus said:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn

‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
   a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.‘ [Prophesied in Micah 7:6]

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”  (Matthew 10:34-39, NIV)

Do you believe it?

 

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