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EP. 89 Does Jesus Hate Religion?


To View the Video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/HDDue4y3R-I


SHOW NOTES


What is religion and does Jesus support or condemn it? A common saying is, "Religion is man’s attempt to reach God. Christianity is God’s attempt to reach man." Religion usually puts people in bondage because religion is commonly made up of manmade rules. Religion also gives people a false sense of hope. It makes people think that if they follow the rules, they will achieve righteousness before God. Religion also breeds a false spirituality or false holiness. Some religions make you feel like you never arrive at holiness, while others make you feel like you will be spiritual if you follow a specific set of rules. Proverbs 6:16-17 says, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood.” A sanctimonious person always feels prideful and morally superior to other people. The bible says the Lord hates this attitude.


So what does Jesus think about religion? How did He handle religious people when he was walking on the earth? What can we learn from Jesus’s interactions with religious people? In Matthew chapter 23, Jesus speaks directly to the religious elite of His day, which were the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, chief priests, and elders. Verses 13-14 says, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.” Religion is the opposite of the message Jesus came and lived out. No matter what you have acquired in or out of the church, the playing field has been evened. We are all sinners saved by grace.


Matthew goes on in verse 23 by saying, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” The religious leaders were able to uphold all the legal gymnastics under the law, but they neglected the weightier matters such as justice, mercy, and faithfulness.


Matthew continues in verses 24-26, “You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.” Tim says, “Spirituality is not about the demonstration of religious behavior; it's about the transformation of your heart.” When your heart is transformed, you are changed from the inside out and it becomes apparent in the way you live your life and treat other people. Christianity is not about following a set of rules and appearing to have it all together. When your heart is transformed, the rest will follow.


Matthew goes on in verse 27-28 which says, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” The religious elite had a façade of life but inside they were dead.


The only time Jesus resorted to name calling was when he was addressing the religious elite of His day. Blind guides. Fools. Serpents. Vipers. Hypocrites. Does Jesus hate religious people? No. Jesus’s intent was not to manifest hatred, resentment, wrath, or malice toward them for opposing His ministry. He simply called them names in order to reveal to them their true character and in hopes that they would wake up and repent of their sins.


Does Jesus hate religion? The bible addresses what true religion actually is in James 1:27 which says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Good religion involves not being stained by the world and showing compassion for the most vulnerable and marginalized in society. When we believe in Jesus Christ, by grace He gives us the inheritance of the Kingdom of God. You don't have to work your way to God. In fact, you can't. You simply have to believe in Jesus. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”


QUOTES


“Religion is the opposite of the message Jesus came and lived out. No matter what you have acquired in or out of the church, the playing field has been evened. We are all sinners saved by grace.” -Kimberly


“Spirituality is not about the demonstration of religious behavior; it's about the transformation of your heart.” -Tim


REFERENCED SCRIPTURE


Proverbs 6:16-17 “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,”


Matthew 23:13-14 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.”


Matthew 23:23-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”


Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”



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