Nazareth • Devotion #1: Rulers against Him

You are probably familiar with the idiom, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” There are people who tend to mock and cause discord with the very ones who are providing for them. It does not make sense.

The Jewish scribes and rulers knew the Messiah was coming. They knew the prophecy, and they were anticipating the Anointed One, yet when He arrived, they took counsel against Him.

If one is not careful, they could skip right past Matthew 12:14, “But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.” Jesus had just healed a man. Verse 13 says, “Then he said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.” Instead of celebrating, the Pharisees focused on Jesus healing on the Sabbath and wanted to “destroy” Him.

I guess this should not surprise us as Psalm 2:1-2 says, “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed.” The kings and rulers chose to go against the Lord. Instead of receiving the Anointed One, they plotted against Him. To go against Jesus is to go against God. It is clearly a losing battle.

Matthew 26:3-4 says, “Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.” Matthew 26:47 continues, “While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people.” Luke 23:11-12 adds, “And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.”

Religious and secular leaders were against Jesus – the chief priest, the elders, Herod, and Pilate. Even one of His disciples turned on Him. This is sad, but it was stated that it would happen hundreds of years earlier.

Jesus comforts us in John 15:18 by saying, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” Christianity is not about a popularity contest. All other religions are against Jesus being God. We need to know there is a battle and be willing to fight the good fight. Be encouraged; He wants you on His team. 

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