John on August 19, 2006 at 4:37 pm
There once was a teacher who attracted large crowds with his topical preaching. Everywhere he went he was mobbed, though most of the people listening didn’t quite understand what he was saying. His following was “broad and shallow”, as they say. Everyone in Palestine, it seemed, had heard of him. He was a “celebrity teacher” with a new approach to the scripture. He would often say “You’ve heard that it was said…” and then follow it with “but I tell you.”
This young upstart was offensive to those who knew the law. So they accused him of many things. They accused him of violating the ten commandments by breaking the sabbath and of further encouraging his followers to do likewise. They accused him of eating with sinners. They accused him of trying to lead the people astray. But, despite their best efforts, his following only seemed to grow.
So they sought out ways to trap him in public. They urged hiim to condemn a prostitute and he would not. They urged him to condemn Caesar, he would not. They challenged his authority to speak at all. And though they wrestled over the question of where this authority came from, they eventually decided it couldn’t be from God. After all, he wasn’t following the rules.
Finally, they accused him of blasphemy (what we would call heresy) and they turned the people against him and had him put to death. All of this, they believed was necessary to maintain God’s honor and the nation’s purity.
This is the irony of the story: They were priests zealous for God’s Honor and he, the young preacher they put to death as a blasphermer…he was God.
Category: Religion & Faith |