Which of us haven't pondered with amazement when reading about how Yeshua was badgered, tempted, persecuted and even murdered by some of the religious leaders of His day. Looking back at the events of two thousand years ago, we today can see clearly that the evidence before them strongly suggested that He was indeed their Messiah, yet they rejected Him. Howbeit, if we were in the moment with them, how would we have reacted? Would we have been able to recognize Him as the Messiah, even if many around us derided Him? If we were of their culture, with their prejudices, how would we ourselves have viewed this unusual and highly unorthodox man from Nazareth?
The Sadducees, the scribes and Pharisees of those times all reverenced the Scriptures as do many of us today, but many of them were blind to the truth contained therein. So totally blind that they killed their very own Savior. They had longed for this Messiah to come and free them from the terrible Roman plague that so sorely afflicted them, yet when He did come, they rejected Him. How amazing! How astounding! How bewildering! The blinders that they wore over their eyes would not allow them to accept anyone that they had not been taught to expect. Anyone outside that preconceived box was rejected. They therefore missed the day of their visitation (LUKE 19:44), they missed the acceptable year of the Lord (LUKE 4:19). The very one that they had longed for throughout the centuries had come and gone without them even realizing it.
It is quite striking to observe how often it was that the sinners received Yeshua's teaching while the faithful adherents to the Temple often rejected Him. This is because the sinners knew that they themselves were screwed up. They realized all too well that they were not righteous, as much as they might had desired to be. So when Yeshua came to them, many received what He taught with open ears and open hearts. But that was not the case with many of the religious folk, because they supposed that they were already righteous. They thought that being faithful Church-goers, adhering to the rules of their particular faith, was all that was required of them. When Yeshua arrived on the scene and condemned their narrowness and their prejudices, they went off on Him (LUKE 4:25-29).
They had hard-hearts that even His words couldn't penetrate. They had preconceived ideas, they had Church traditions, they had ancient ceremonies. Anything that didn't fit within that framework was rejected. They wouldn't even give Him a serious listen. They wouldn't even consider and ponder the truths He taught.
It has been said that learning and tradition lead to exclusiveness. How true this has proven to be. Many of the scribes, the Sadducees, the Pharisees and even the Jesuits, the Masons and the Illuminati have demonstrated this club mentality. They learn what others don't know and then around this knowledge they construct their traditions, eventually separating themselves off from others thought to be less enlightened. To a certain degree doesn't this describe the Roman Catholics, the Methodists, the Mormons, even all the religions of the world? And even when we ourselves have established our own particular system of beliefs, don't we also have a tendency to somehow feel superior to those we think to be less enlightened?
The apostle Paul wrote that "Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth" (1 CORINTHIANS 8:1). As we grow in our knowledge of GOD's ways, we must be sure not to become like some of the scribes and Pharisees of Yeshua's day who lost sight of the forest for all the trees. In other words, the whole purpose for all of our abilities, for all of our knowledge and talents, is to minister to GOD's people. If we ever loose sight of that humble goal, we have indeed lost our sight altogether. We must forever remain diligent to avoid at all cost the trap that religious men have fallen into throughout the centuries, and of which our Lord warned the religious ones of His day, that "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains (ESV JOHN 9:41).
To be right about the things of GOD is a fine goal, but to become right is a better goal. If we already think that we are right, we close the door on any new revelation. Let us maintain an alacrity of mind that is willing to consider and ponder any new perspective. Let us measure every concept, not by our traditions, but only by the words of GOD. Let us not be closed off to the possibility that there is still much for us to learn.
Too many even today are content to clip and paste from the Bible what they choose so as to create for themselves a god that suites them? Yeshua's fellow countrymen pictured their Messiah as coming to execute the wrath of GOD upon the enemies of Israel. Instead He came with open arms, receiving all that GOD gave Him. Howbeit, it was at His return, His Parousia where He returned with drawn sword.