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Inside Out...

I was reading through the book of John today and was struck by how much the Jews seemed to despise Jesus (see John 10:22-42 for an example). Here's why I think I'm so surprised by this: The Jews were familiar with the messianic prophecies in the Scriptures. They were under Roman rule which meant that they were unable to worship God in the ways they wanted to. They had to bow to Caesar and worship him so they were under religious oppression as well as political. And yet....when Jesus shows up on the scene, fulfills the prophecies and preaches that He is the Son of God, the people want to kill him. Why is that?

The Pharisees and religious leaders were expecting a political leader to step up and deliver Israel from Roman oppression. Jesus was strangely fulfilling the prophecies and all signs pointed to Him to be the messiah, and yet Jesus preached a gospel of peace. He preached of a world where you pray for enemies. He preached of going the literal extra mile, of the Kingdom of God being open to Gentiles as well as Jews, of having access to God without the need of sacrifice...basically, He was preaching things that were upside down to the way the religious leaders were expecting to see them.

Yes, they wanted the Messiah, yes they saw that Jesus was potentially He, but they weren't hearing messages that they wanted to hear. They weren't seeing political oppression being thrown off. They weren't getting what they wanted or what they thought they needed.

And so ultimately this escalates to a scene where Jesus is on trial before Pilate and Pilate asks the people what he should do with this "King of the Jews" and the people shout out that they have no king but Caesar.

Wow.

They were so bent out of shape at the message that Jesus was preaching that they were willing to not only accept, but embrace the political and religious tyranny of the Romans.

And so I guess the thing that floors me with how the Jews treat Jesus is that they were so blind to the scriptures they were reading everyday that they actually killed the Messiah who had come to save them, just because He was saving them in a way they weren't aware that they needed.

Let's have Kingdom Eyes and see not just how God is fulfilling His promises today, but let's look for how He is trying to deliver us from things we didn't even know we needed deliverance from.

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