Threatened by Jesus

“And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching.” Mark 11:18

Jesus has just cleansed the temple, driving out the money changers and bringing accusation against those who had turned God’s house into a den of thieves. To grasp the significance of this event, picture Jesus ordering a group of hardened-hearted business men away from their profitable occupation. He was certainly outnumbered, but he physically upset their work area, rebuked them publicly and ordered them out. And they went! His actions proclaimed loudly “Not in My house!” This authority is what drew the admiration of the people and the hatred of the religious establishment.

I wonder if the scribes and chief priests had received some financial benefit from the marketplace they had allowed in the temple. People do get angry when you touch their wallet.

Maybe they just didn’t like this “new guy” coming in and making all kind of changes and gaining a following. He wasn’t even part of their group. Any maybe just the fact that He never even wanted to be part of their group infuriated them.

I suppose these things are possible, but they are speculation. The verse tells us that they feared Him because of the reaction of the people to His teaching. And while they may have disregarded some of His teachings, surely they remembered these (to list just a few):

He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.” Mark 7:9

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.” Matthew 23:25-26

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Mathew 23:27-28

His teaching threatened their position, their authority and their respectability. They had much to lose and they were not willing to let that happen. So they resorted to murder.

The presence of Jesus is still a threat to many. He threatens their belief in the sufficiency of their own goodness. He threatens their desire to create their own standard of right and wrong and live by their own rules. He threatens their trust in themselves as the master of their own destiny.

Really there are only two possible responses. You will either look upon Him with amazement, seeing Him as the only Savior to deliver you from your sins, or you will harden your heart against Him. But one thing is certain – you will not meet Jesus Christ and be unchanged.

One thought on “Threatened by Jesus

  1. pttyann November 24, 2008 / 9:08 pm

    So true,enjoyed your post.
    Love in Christ

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