A Competitor Who Could Not Be Eliminated

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

“And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him” (Luke 19:47,48 KJV).

The Lord Jesus Christ is “bad for business.” Israel’s crooked religious leaders need to quickly get rid of Him: He has caused their funding to run dry and now He is challenging their “authority!”

Today’s Scripture is quite comical, and once we understand its context, we cannot help but smile. The Lord Jesus has just exposed and thrown out the dishonest individuals who were selling overpriced goods in the Temple (verses 45,46), and this greatly angers the money-hungry chief priests, scribes, and chief of the people. Now, in today’s Scripture, these religious leaders are frantic—Jesus has got to go! He has not only removed their source of income, but now He is teaching in the Temple everyday!

These religious leaders conspire to kill Jesus, but there are hindrances. God the Father is not ready for Jesus to die, and Jesus’ audience is so fascinated with the doctrine that He is teaching, that the religious leaders cannot take hold of Jesus without making a commotion. Thus, throughout Luke chapter 20, these religious leaders utilize many ploys to publicly discredit Jesus, to hopefully “outsmart” Him with a question and thus silence Him before His audience.

On several occasions, these religious leaders proceed to ask Jesus captious questions, inquiries designed to trap Him in His speech (Luke 20:1,2,20-22,26-33). Finally, “Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said. And after that they durst [dare] not ask him any question at all (verses 39,40). These religious leaders hated Jesus for exposing their hypocrisy and Bible ignorance. Though they fervently tried to silence Him, He had put them to complete shame: ultimately, they could do nothing but agree with Him and remain quiet.

God’s Word is always a threat to religion, so let us not be surprised or discouraged when religionists treat us as they did our Lord Jesus Christ. 🙂