"SEEKING TO DESTROY JESUS"
I. WHY WOULD MEN WANT TO DESTROY JESUS?
A. In the case before us, it was He was violating their traditions.
1. It is amazing how deeply rooted traditions can become, and how great a control they can have over the way we do things.
2. Traditions are one of the last things we want to give up.
3. Jesus often spoke out against their traditions.
a. In Mark 7
He told them that they made the commandment of none effect by their tradition.
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with [their] lips, but their heart is far from me.
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.
For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, [It is] Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; [he shall be free].
And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
b. The Jews had the Torah, the law of God given to them by Moses.
c. They then had the Mishnah which were the oral traditions and interpretations of the laws.
d. They then developed the Talmud which were the written interpretations of the Mishnah. There were over 60 volumes.
B. They had many traditions concerning the Sabbath day.
1. The Sabbath day was very important to them, for it was the sign of the covenant that God had made with them.
a. Even today, many unbelieving Jews keep the sabbath.
b. They also observe the dietary laws such as not eating meat and dairy products at the same meal.
c. That is to them just part of being a Jew.
2. The Torah declared that you were not to bare any burdens on the Sabbaths day.
a. The question is, what constitutes a burden?
b. Would wearing false teeth on the Sabbath day be a burden?
c. How about wearing a wooden leg.
d. They did believe that healing on the Sabbath day was a violation of the Sabbath. You could take whatever measures necessary to save the life of the person, but nothing toward the healing on the Sabbath.
e. Jesus had just violated this tradition, by healing the withered hand on the Sabbath.
f. He had first asked the scribes who were in the Synagogue to make certain that all things were done according to the book, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do evil, or to do good?" "Is it lawful to heal or to kill?"
3. The action of Jesus was good, He healed the withered hand. But in so doing, He violated their tradition, so they determined that they must destroy Him.
C. There are those today who feel that they must destroy Jesus, and have established diabolical plots to do so.
1. Those within the movie industry who always cast the Christians in a very negative light, are really seeking to destroy Jesus.
2. The A.C.L.U. have long been seeking to destroy Jesus, and unfortunately been receiving help from the Supreme Court, in seeing that Jesus is destroyed from the public sector.
3. Even the liberal legislators in Washington are seeking to destroy Jesus and have drafted a bill that would prohibit a person having a Bible on their desk, or witnessing in their work place because it constitutes religious harassment.
4. Our forefathers in the constitution established the freedom of religion clause, by which they intended that there should not be any state church, but that a person would be free to worship God in any denomination he may desire. England was punishing those who were seeking to break away from the Church of England, and they wanted to be sure that the government did not seek to establish a mandatory state church here.
5. There are those who have twisted the intent and purpose of this constitutional right to be free to worship God however you may desire, that is the freedom of religion to mean freedom from religion, these men are seeking to destroy Jesus.
6. Why would they seek to destroy Jesus today?
a. Jesus said it was because they loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.
b. Jesus spoke out against adultery, they desire to commit adultery.
c. Jesus spoke out against hatred and taking revenge, they hate and desire to destroy.
d. Jesus spoke against lying and graft. These men are liars, and they love to defraud others.
e. Jesus taught that we should forgive others their wrongs against us. These men are unforgiving.
f. Jesus said that the most important thing is to love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. These men are filled with hatred toward Jesus and any one who seeks to follow Him.
g. What things did Jesus say that you find offensive?
h. What is it about Jesus that has created such a negative reaction by you that you seek to destroy Him?
D. In the story we have before us we note that it was not a rational motive to destroy Jesus, but emotional and spiritual.
1. When they finally brought Jesus before Pilate to get the Roman government to crucify Him, Pilate realized that they had no real charges against Him, but that they were envious of Jesus, because of His popular appeal, and they were afraid that they were going to lose their tyrannical control over the people.
2. When they were crying for Pilate to crucify Jesus, he asked for a logical reason, but they had none, they just cried all the louder, "Crucify Him."
3. Jesus had asked them a very logical question, "Is it lawful to do good or to do evil on the Sabbath?"
a. Sometimes when you ask for a reason why things are done in such an inefficient way, the answer is, "Its our policy." There is no good reason for it, it is just our policy. It doesn't make sense, but its our policy.
b. I get so frustrated around here at times when I hear of certain rules that have been established, and have become policy. I ask, "Why are we doing this?" or "Why did you tell them that?" and I find that it is a policy created by some secretary 15 years ago, who was too lazy to leave her desk to help someone.
c. They could not give to Jesus a logical answer to his reasonable question. Its just our tradition, it is illogical, and stupid, but that's the way it is.
4. Today it is the same, the hatred of Jesus is not logical, you cannot point to the teachings of Jesus and find fault, you must admit that He was right, and what He taught is good, yet people hate Him so much they seek to destroy Him.
a. Christian bashing has become a favorite sport in the liberal sector of the country, they are seeking to make the word fundamentalist an evil word.
b. We are being identified as one of the greatest dangers to freedom in America.
c. Freedom to what? Freedom to lie, steal, cheat, defraud, kill, rape, to with anyone at any time under any circumstances.
d. You see, we are so narrow that we call homosexuality a sin, why does that upset Janet Reno and Joyclyn Elders, and Hillary so much? It is because they feel that a person should be protected to have those freedoms.
e. We say that it is wrong for an adult man to seduce a boy of eight years of age. We are a real threat to freedom.
f. We say that it is wrong to use your public office for personal gain, that it is wrong to smoke pot even if you do not inhale, and that a person who is in a high place of public trust making laws whereby others are to be governed should set the highest moral standards for themselves, they should not be womanizers. You bet we are a threat to such freedoms.
g. We oppose the freedom to do evil, and we promote the freedom to do good.
5. Jesus taught personal freedoms, He was breaking away from the that had been imposed by the religious leaders of that day, he was a threat to their freedom to take advantage of the common man. He taught us to respect the rights of others to own and enjoy what was theirs. Where ever Christianity has gone, freedom has followed. Why is it that the communists feared Christianity so much?
6. Who is it that seeks to destroy Jesus? Men with evil hearts.
7. Why do they seek to destroy Him? Because they love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.
8. Are you seeking to destroy Jesus today? Jesus said, if you are not for Me, you are against Me. You cannot be neutral.