Jesus and Religion
One of the strangest and saddest features of all of the life of Jesus is the fact of
the religious opposition which He encountered. As we move rapidly through Mark's gospel,
you will see this rising hostility on the part of those who are the religious leaders
of the day. You remember in the earlier part of the chapter we are told back in verse
7 that they reasoned in their hearts, not out loud, but they reasoned in their hearts:
Why does this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins
but God only?
Then as you move on through this chapter you will notice that their opposition and
hostility becomes more open. They go to the disciples of Jesus and raise a question
about His actions. Then they go to Jesus, himself, and they question what He has done.
Later on, over in the third chapter and the sixth verse we are told that the Pharisees
and the Herodians join forces togetler and make up their minds to destroy Him and kill
Him. It's an amazing thing that the Lord Jesus, the only sinless one who ever lived, the
who came into this world to be the fulfillment of all of the highest hopes and aspirations
of their religion, came into their midst and when they saw Him they hated Him and did
everything in their power to destroy Him and get rid of Him. There is probably nothing
more wicked and cruel than religion. I think about Iran, today. All of the people who
have been killed, all of the murder, all of the turmoil and we remember that this is
being done in the name of religion. When Jesus came He immediately encountered the
hostility of the religious leaders. As you look at this battle that goes on between
Jesus and the religious leaders, you will learn the very important distinctions between
Jesus and religion. There is a difference between Jesus and religion. Everybody has
religion of some kind, but not everybody has Jesus. Religion is man's attempt to work
his way to God. Jesus is God's attempt to reach me ...
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