Why was Jesus Persecuted?
Jesus Christ was a perfect and sinless person but yet He faced and endured persecution from the very world He had come to save.
How could a perfect and sinless person face persecution? Why was Jesus hated by the world and why was He eventually crucified?
Persecution is defined as the act of excluding, harassing, punishing, oppressing or killing of people because of their difference from society.
Therefore below are 4 reasons why Jesus was persecuted
1. Jesus Exposed False Teachers & A Counterfeit Religious System
The Pharisees were the people with the religious influence and power. They were also spiritually abusive and they twisted scripture in order to control and influence their followers for their own personal gain.
However the teachings of Christ exposed the false religious system which had been created by the Scribes & Pharisees. Jesus openly rebuked and opposed the Pharisees. Christ Himself did not mince His words when speaking to the Pharisees and other false teachers. He called them “brood of vipers” and hypocrites and openly exposed their counterfeit faith (Matthew 23:1-36).
So in the eyes of the Jewish religious leaders, Jesus Christ was a threat to their religious system and to the power and influence which they had gained over the people for many years.
The Scribes & Pharisees also hated Christ because they noticed that they were losing their man-made spiritual influence among the people because of the teachings and presence of Christ on earth.
John 11:45-49 says: Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what He did, believed in Him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
Therefore by spying, harassing and mocking Christ during His ministry, the Pharisees sought to preserve their authority and religious influence because they feared that Christ’s teachings were exposing their counterfeit religious practices. They sought to discredit Christ and eventually kill Him because Jesus threatened to expose their hypocrisy.
2. Jesus Would Heal on the Sabbath
One of the reasons why Jesus healed on the Sabbath was in order to expose the legalism and the false religious system created by the Pharisees. Jesus also healed on the Sabbath so that He could expose their false interpretation of the law regarding the Sabbath. The Pharisees were so blinded by their own legalism that they failed to understand the true purpose of the Sabbath day.
Therefore by performing an act of compassion, such a healing a person on the Sabbath, Jesus would inevitably face confrontation and persecution every time He healed on a Sabbath day.
John 5:16 says: And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath.
In John 7:23 Jesus says: If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with Me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well?
3. Jesus Exposed Sin in the World & Promoted Godly Values
While on earth, Jesus was the embodiment of light and truth (John 8:12; John 14:6). He was the light of the world amongst people who loved darkness. The Person and work of Christ exposed the sin of the world and the depravity of man.
Therefore everything Christ said and did was a representation of godliness and truth in a world that loved sin, hypocrisy and deception.
John 3:19-20 says: And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
Furthermore, when the sin of the world is exposed through speaking truth, the world tends to retaliate with persecution.
In John 7:7 Jesus states: “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify about it that its works are evil.”
In John 15:18-20 Jesus says: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours.”
4. Jesus Said He Was Equal to God
Jesus was persecuted because He identified Himself as being the Son of God.
John 5:18 says: This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
Therefore besides accusing Christ of breaking the Sabbath, the Jews did not believe that Jesus was God. They falsely believed that Jesus was a heretic. They did not believe that He was the prophesied Messiah.
Ultimately Jesus faced persecution in the form of crucifixion on a cross. Though innocent, blameless and sinless – Jesus became the perfect sacrifice that the world needed for the redemption of mankind to be made possible.
Isaiah 53:5 says: But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed.
1 Peter 3:18 says: For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
Jesus took the punishment we deserve on the cross, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
As mankind we cannot pay God for our own sins and so Jesus came to pay the debt for sin that we could not pay by becoming the sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus suffered on the cross and resurrected on the third day so that if we believe and receive Him through faith as Lord and Saviour, then we would experience eternal life.
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST?
Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17.
For example, if you’ve told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law or commandments means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver.
Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
So you must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
Luke 13:3 says: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish”
Acts 3:19 says: “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out”
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to change your mind about sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
Romans 10:9 says: “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”
1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
John 1:12 says: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name”
By faith you must receive Jesus as your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?
We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.
PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have eternal life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and broken your laws and commandments. Today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and I’ve decided to follow You. Thank You for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me a new creation in Christ.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”
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