What WOULD Jesus DO or SAY today as compared to what Jesus DID and SAID when He was here on earth?
When Jesus started his ministry there was political unrest. The Jews were under the control and domination of the Roman Empire, which overshadowed their daily lives.
Everything about Roman occupation was hateful to the Jews, from oppressive taxes to physical abuse by Roman soldiers to the offensive idea that the Roman leader was a god.
When Jesus was asked about whether the people should obey the law and pay the oppressive taxes imposed on them, Jesus said to them:
Luke 20:25 …“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
When Jesus was alive, the Jews were desperately waiting for their Messiah. They had been oppressed by foreign governments from their inception as a nation, so they were expecting a leader who would lead them in an uprising against the Romans, in a war of liberation.
They forgot that the real purpose of the Messiah was to bring them Salvation from their sins. They were expecting a Savior from their oppressors. They weren’t expecting Jesus.
During this time there were riots and streets were filled with fear and violence.
Within the Jewish population, there was a Zealot movement which, at the time of Jesus, was the revolutionary option against Roman occupation. It advocated outward violence, even armed rebellion, to rid Israel of Roman oppression. They believed nothing else would or could bring liberation to the Jewish people. In a way, the Zealots were looked upon as freedom-fighters or terrorists.
Barabbas was a Zealot, an insurrectionist, whom Pontius Pilate freed at the Passover feast in Jerusalem, keeping Jesus as a prisoner and later crucifying. The people were more concerned about freeing a Zealot and gaining freedom from physical Governmental Control, than about the Spiritual Freedom and Forgiveness they would find in Jesus.
Many of Jesus’ followers , including Judas, wanted Jesus to lead an army, be part of a protest, to be part of a riot to fight, destroy and overthrow the Romans, but Jesus’ message was that of PEACE much like Martin Luther King.
Jesus taught that you should love your enemies and turn the other cheek.
The Sadducees were the great pragmatists of the day. As wealthy lay-nobles, priests and aristocrats, they were more concerned with conserving their wealth and power through compromise with Rome. In the Gospels, it was the Sadducees who were the main opponents of Jesus at the time of his trial and death. People were following Jesus and His teachings which was a threat to their power and status.
Jesus was not wealthy. He did not own a home. He had no large estate or bank acct. He was not pulled to compromise with anyone. He had nothing to lose other than his life which he gladly gave for you.
There are those today that would do anything to keep their power, money and control, compromising their ethics and morals, despite the cost or repercussions to the rest of us.
The Pharisees were in many ways the idealists of Jewish society. Most of the Scribes (the ‘theologians’ of the day) were Pharisees. The Pharisees were the most numerous and influential of the religious sects of Jesus’ day. They were strict legalists. They stood for the rigid observance of the letter and forms of the Law, and also for the Traditions. They did not believe in compromise with the Romans (as did the Sadducees) nor in revolutionary activity (as did the Zealots).
Jesus gave us a new law. Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself.
There are those today, that believe they are better than, smarter than and more important than everyone else. They know the law but do not uphold it themselves. Do as they say, not as they do.
Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean”.
The Romans, Zealots, Sadducees and Pharisees were all against Jesus- what He said and what He did. They believed Jesus to be a trouble maker stirring up the pot, stirring up the people. He wasn’t the Messiah everyone thought He should be. He was different. He didn’t follow the crowd. They couldn’t trick Him or control Him. He didn’t listen to them or the voices around Him.
They considered Him a problem, a threat that needed to be eliminated. They had a plan… but God’s plan was bigger.
It’s true even today. You may not fit into what the world thinks or says you should be. The World, Circumstances, your past and even your present may be trying to dictate your life and what you should say, do or believe in. God created you. He knows you and He has a plan for you and it’s bigger and better than anything you can imagine.
Don’t let others tell you what to think. Think for yourself. Don’t just follow the crowd. Follow where God leads you. Be, Think, Believe Outside the box that the world is pulling you into.
The world could’nt make Jesus conform to what it wanted. The world could’nt keep Jesus in a box (or a tomb once they thought they had destroyed and eliminated the threat). He believed you and I were more important. He believed God had a greater plan. SALVATION.
When the world turned against Him, and Jesus stood trial, He could have rebuked those judging Him. He could have called an army of angels to come to His defense. Instead He was quiet.
He was an example as to how we should respond when we are in trouble, unjustly accused, facing adversity or being pushed into a box…Be Still and let God be GOD. He is in control.
Matthew 27:14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge-to the great amazement of the governor.
He forgave those that brutally scourged Him, spat on him and nailed Him to a cross. He forgave those that persecuted and crucified Him.
Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
He spoke of peace and love for one another.
1 Corinthians 16:14 “Let all you do be done in Love.”
Luke 6:29 “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either”.
When people were calling out the sinful ways of others, He suggested that we look to our own sin first.
Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
John 8:6-8 But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger. When they kept on questioning Him, He straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
So in this time of violence, division, accusations, name calling and out and out hatred towards people that look, think and believe differently or belong to a different party or country…
What would Jesus SAY?….What would Jesus DO?
What would Jesus say about Racism, the riots, the destruction and violence in our cities and the anger that is boiling over in our country and in the world. What would Jesus say about the divisiveness and hatred we have and display toward one another that is repetitiously plastered all over the media.
What would Jesus say about the killing of Babies, the destruction of the precious and beautiful world that He created for us and the obvious disregard for the rights and liberty of ALL People, ALL over the world.
and What would Jesus say about taking vengeance into our own hands and justifying our actions when we destroy someone’s property or kill someone in the name of Justice.
1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.
We need to stop following blindly behind the voices and footsteps of those in this WORLD and
start following and listening to the ONE WHO CREATED IT!
We Need to seriously think about WHAT JESUS WOULD SAY OR DO if He was here …
and then DO IT!!
If we don’t, and we don’t change how things are going…
I’m afraid of what He WILL do.
Think about it.