Why people may reject Jesus

Observing the reaction of the religious leaders to Jesus is instructive. Jesus did amazing things; primarily he helped people. So we must ask the question, why would the religious leaders react so negatively to him? What do we know about the religious leaders? They often did not act or speak the truth, because they feared the reaction of the people. Fear was a significant motivator for them. They also loved their position of influence within their nation, resulting in a fear that Jesus would provoke a negative reaction from the Romans and cause them to lose their position. Their reaction indicated that they desired to maintain the status quo, rather than seek out the truth. Finally, their reaction to Jesus’ parable of the vineyard owner and the farmers reveals a third motivator. In the parable the farmers’ desire to keep for themselves the vineyard, led them to beat the master’s servants and kill his son. The farmers’ behavior revealed a love for the inheritance more than they respected the rightful owner. When Jesus said that the owner would come and take away the vineyard and give it to others, the religious leaders knew exactly what Jesus meant and that he was referring to them. That is why they declared, “May it never be.” Fear, a desire to maintain the status quo and a love for the gift more than the giver were powerful motivators that resulted in the religious leaders aligning themselves against Jesus. Yet, what was true of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day could also be true today. Their behavior should cause us to ponder our reaction to Jesus. What might we be afraid of losing? How much do we desire to maintain the status quo? Would we sacrifice truth to keep the status quo? Do we love the blessings we have received from God, more than our devotion to God himself? Our answers to those questions can give us an indicator to how willing we would be to oppose Jesus, his work in our life and the world.

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