We Christians often create our own problems. Big ones, too. And we can do it in the “spirit” of being faithful.
Jesus was mocked, cursed, and finally killed by those who should have known better. Yes, I know it was all a part of God’s plan. Still, the people who pursued Jesus and finally had him crucified were the ones who should have known the truth of the scriptures.
- For one, Jesus made it clear in His encounters with the religious leaders of the day that they were more about tradition than truth. It’s so easy for us to move this way too. We have inherited belief systems and Christian cultural patterns that, in time, have very little to do with the Bible. However, we can hold onto these things with more conviction than biblical truth.
- Secondly, the religious leaders were more tied into their religious system than they were into following God. These legalists had spirituality figured out! They really didn’t want anybody to mess with their system. They would take the messiah only if He fit into what they wanted. Does that sound familiar? We do that so easily. We often want just enough of God to make us feel good, but not so much to radically change our lives.
- Third, these people had so much pride that they were unteachable. They couldn’t imagine learning anything from someone with fewer degrees than themselves. They were unwilling to face the fact that their facts might be wrong. They were ready to kill the son of God to maintain the appearance of spiritual perfection. We, too, pay such a cost with our pride and unteachable spirit. We miss out on the new, fresh, authentic, life-transforming ways that God wants to work His grace in and through us. When we’re unteachable, we’re untouchable toward God-things.
Check out this passage of Scripture:
Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem started to ask each other, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 But here he is, speaking in public, and they say nothing to him. Could our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah? 27 But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.” John 7:25-27
Do you see how deceived and confused these followers are? And can you see how their learned assumptions (“he will simply appear”) keep them from finding God? When we become in any way like the hardened proud religious leaders of Jesus’ day, we produce the kind of followers that also would rather slay God than serve Him.