Our world is full of religions. I’ve got to say, I’m not much a fan. Of any of them.
That probably sounds like a huge contradiction coming from from someone who claims to be a “Jesus Freak” and uprooted his family to move across the country to attend a Bible College too.
But it’s not.
Jesus Treated People Differently
When we think of Jesus, we usually think of a soft spoken kumbayah guy who never got excited and was overwhelmingly nice to everyone. However, when you actually read through the Biblical accounts of Jesus you see a bit of a different picture.
Jesus behaved very differently towards different types of people. On the one hand He was incredibly compassionate towards the outcasts of society. Whenever people came to Him acknowledging their own shortcomings He lifted them up, healed their sicknesses and diseases.
To the woman caught in adultery – which the law said was punishable by death – Jesus simply says, “Go and sin no more.”
He offered healing and restoration to anyone who came to Him and believed He could give it to them. Plain and simple.
Jesus Trashed the Religious
But when it came to the religious people of his day… Oh. My. Gosh.
There was nothing nice about what He said. He called them vipers and whitewashed tombs full of dead man’s bones. He told His disciples they were like yeast — a little bit of their religious ways would corrupt the whole loaf.
In fact, one time Jesus got invited to a fancy dinner by a bunch of the leading religious people of His day, and a pretty amazing thing happens. (You can read about it in Luke 11:37-54.)
I mean think about this for a moment. Jesus is one of the most significant figures in religion in the history of mankind, right? And here He is at dinner with a bunch of the most influential religious people of His day. It might be a good time to suck up a little and get on their good side, right?
Well Jesus doesn’t do that.
The first thing these guys notice is that Jesus doesn’t wash his hands before He eats. Now there‘s a scandal, right? “Ooh… Dirty hands!”
How does Jesus respond? What He has to say is not very “nice” at all.
He lights into them for being hypocrites! Says they’re fixated on appearances and ignore the truth.
He points out that all their religion and their rules don’t do anything to make people’s lives better. All religion does is weigh people down with burdens they can never carry.
Jesus even goes so far as to imply that they are murderers and because He says they approve of the killing of God’s prophets.
That’s not a good way to get invited back to dinner. (I’m just saying.)
Jesus had very little nice to say about religion.
Video Worth Watching
Jefferson Bethke made a video where he recorded a poem he wrote about this very thing. I’m not into poetry but this is an excellent video and well worth the 4 minutes to watch.
It’s very possible you may have seen it already because as I write this well over 9 million people world wide have watched it. And that’s pretty amazing considering he only posted the video 4 days ago. Yes it is pretty powerful.
Take a look:
Jefferson is spot on, I think.
What I find interesting is how many of the 100,000+ commenters on this video don’t understand how Jesus ≠ Religion. I think that’s a subject worthy of it’s own separate article. I’ll post that another time.
What do you think of the video? It is on track or off base?
Map image from Wikipedia