Jesus Doesn’t Like Your Religion

Human beings always seem to create some type of belief system.

We can see the art work of ancient peoples pointing to the idea that some sentient being exists in the great unknown, orchestrating our lives. Today, we can go to a multitude of different buildings to worship all sorts of gods. We find temples, mosques, churches, tabernacles, and synagogues. There are numerous  places to find some sense of morality.

For many Jesus has become just another spiritually enlightened person to strive towards emulating. For many Jesus has become a code of morality to construct our lives around. For many Jesus has been delegated from God to Religion.

 

Jesus doesn’t like your religion.

 

There is a point to the life of Jesus, giving you a code of rules, and a list of who is condemned, is not that point. When we delegate Jesus to a mere religion we remove any significance, and all of the importance from His life. We make Jesus into a pitiful shell of a God, and attempt to force others into living in that shell. This is not what Jesus had in mind, this is just what Jesus came to change, this is just what Jesus said was wrong.

In the American Church we have done an enormous disservice to Jesus, when one looks at His life there becomes a lifestyle that was clearly very upsetting to Jesus, a lifestyle that Jesus condemned. This was the lifestyle of the Pharisees, elite Jewish religious leaders. The Pharisees are often belittled and trashed in the church, yet the very same church tends to live in a way much more reminiscent of the Pharisees than of Jesus.

Looking at His life, we see Jesus preferred the company of hookers, drug abusers, alcoholics, and criminals, Jesus didn’t want to spend his time in the presence of the religious elite. Jesus wasn’t all that interested in the codes of conduct and the lists of rules the Pharisees had come up with. This wasn’t the way of life that Jesus supported.

Often people in church misrepresent the heart of Jesus when talking about where Jesus spent his time, they seem to believe that Jesus spent time with the “scummy sinners” so that he could turn them into Pharisees, or somehow change their behavior to something more “suitable” for a “good Christian”. This doesn’t seem to be the goal that Jesus had. Jesus seemed a lot more interested in being these peoples friend, Jesus seemed a lot more interested in loving people than he did in making them follow rules. Jesus certainly preferred the open sinners, over those pretending to be righteous.

Jesus doesn’t like your religion

Jesus doesn’t like your rules.

What one can gather from the life of Jesus, is that the guy passed out in the gutter is of more interest than the guy in the worship choir, that the girl working the corner is more fascinating than the girl working at the church. This isn’t because Jesus cares more about the homeless than the middle class, this isn’t because Jesus cares more about the prostitute than the office drone.

Jesus lived in this way because the homeless and the prostitute were closer to Him than the average church dweller, that the drunk and the criminal had a better shot at understanding Him that the deacon or the apologetics professor.

Jesus doesn’t like your religion

Jesus doesn’t like your rules

Jesus doesn’t like you

And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him. Mark 2:15

As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him. Matthew 9:9

Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. Luke 15:1

And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” Luke 3:12

Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him (Jesus) saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him that she is a sinner.” Luke 7:39

A small portion of the passages where Jesus either chose to be with sinners instead of the righteous, or when the righteous rejected Jesus because He was choosing to be near sinners. The righteous would criticize Jesus for spending his time with the sinners, Jesus didn’t like that very much.

“Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.” They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. “But do not be called Rabbi; for One (God) is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.” Matthew 23:1-8

There are so many passages like this one, so many times when Jesus told the people not to be like the Pharisees. Jesus didn’t like the Pharisees, and if we live like them, He doesn’t like us either. Jesus will always love humanity, Jesus loved the Pharisees, Jesus dies for them, and for us, regardless of if he likes us, he loves us.

The way to be liked by Jesus is simple, the path to his favor isn’t difficult.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30

Jesus doesn’t want us to follow a set of rules, Jesus doesn’t have a list of things to avoid, Jesus didn’t come to form a morale code of conduct, Jesus came to Love, and that’s what He wants from us.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself Matthew 22:36-39

This is it, this is how Jesus summarized a life of following Him, Love.

 

Jesus doesn’t like your religion.

Jesus likes your love.

Your love for Him, Your love for others.

Stop being religious, start loving.

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6 thoughts on “Jesus Doesn’t Like Your Religion

    1. I appreciate your comment and feedback! I do understand the “harsh” nature of some of my words. However my heart is always in encouraging and please do remember this is an excerpt of a larger work. Again, thank you for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

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