Hard Questions About the Bible

Jesus the Radical

Some people don’t want to believe in Christianity because it is ‘organized religion’, ‘conservative’, ‘mainstream’, ‘establishment’.

Actually, Jesus Christ himself was anything but conservative, mainstream or establishment, in fact he was considered a radical by the religious establishment of his day, the teachers of the Jewish Law, called the Pharisees.

He claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God, which was against everything the Pharisees knew and believed.  They could not conceive of God coming down to earth, and the Jews believed that the Messiah would be a conquerer, like King David.

Jesus exposed and called out the Pharisees, calling them hypocrites, wicked and greedy. (Matthew 23)

He did many things that the Pharisees considered sin or blasphemy (the crime of claiming to be like God), like forgiving sins (Luke 5: 17-26), healing on the Sabbath (Luke 6: 6-9), associating with sinners, tax collectors (Matthew 9:11) and prostitutes (Luke 7: 36-39).

Jesus drove out demons, but the Pharisees claimed it was because he was the ‘prince of demons’. (Matthew 9:34)

The Pharisees considered Jesus a blasphemer and a radical who was gaining a following among Jews, so they plotted to get rid of him.  This led to his arrest, trial and sentence of death on the cross.

Next: The Most Radical Teaching of Jesus

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