06 Dec 2009

Wise as a Serpent

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Jesus was the whole package, as they say, and this means that sometimes people latch on to only one or a few of his traits. For example, some people (especially well-meaning non-believers who are trying to be cordial) have this idea that Jesus was a really sweet guy, and it was too bad that those awful religious leaders plotted to have Him killed.

But that is unfair to both Jesus and those who plotted against Him. They didn’t have a guy crucified merely for going around healing people. No, He publicly denounced them many times.

The reason the “aww such a sweetie” stereotype is unfair to Jesus is that it makes it seem as if He was Forrest Gump getting picked on by the bullies. Not exactly. Check out this exchange where the people trained in the Scriptures try to trap Him and must flee from His counterattack:

 1 Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him 2 and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?”
3 But He answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me: 4 The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?”
5 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered that they did not know where it was from.
8 And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Luke 20:1-8, New King James Version)

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