Here is an excerpt from Chapter 10 of Restoring the Ministry of Jesus:
It is interesting to realize that most of the opposition that Jesus faced in His ministry came from the religious system of His day. It wasn’t the “sinners” who opposed him but the religious. Even today, it is the religious systems of man that actually oppose the true ministry of Jesus. Here is an excerpt from chapter 10 of my book, Restoring the Ministry of Jesus:
Throughout this book we have been talking about the ministry of Jesus and how we are to walk like Jesus walked. To be like Jesus is our aim. If we are to enter the fullness of the promises of God and the ministry of Jesus, we will have to do some contending. It will take focus, perseverance, and a willingness to go against the grain of the often lukewarm Christianity that we find ourselves in today. No doubt, there will be many obstacles and much opposition.
Not everybody liked Jesus. You don’t get crucified for simply being a nice guy. Jesus faced much opposition while ministering on earth and He was a highly controversial figure. Some claimed He was the Messiah, while others claimed that He was demon-possessed. Some said that He taught the truth, while others said that He deceived the people. There was constant division as to who He really was, and even His own family did not believe in Him. He was constantly misunderstood; yet never felt the need to explain Himself. He was vehemently opposed; yet never defended Himself. Jesus had nothing to prove.
Anyone who dares to follow in the footsteps of Christ can expect similar controversy and resistance. There is as much opposition to the ministry of Jesus today as there was when He walked the earth. If we respond in the same manner as Christ- with humility and brokenness- we will help validate and advance His ministry today. If we respond with pride and bitterness we can become a hindrance to it.
In Matthew 13:33 Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” The kingdom of God is to have the same permeating effect in this world as leaven has in bread. But, the kingdom of heaven is not the only leaven that Jesus mentioned in the gospels; there are other leavens, which oppose the ministry of Jesus and the influence of the kingdom of God.
Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
The above passages name a total of three opposing influences, or leavens: the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and Herod. It should be noted that although each one is different in nature, all three are warned against and must be guarded against by the people of God, especially leaders. I believe that the term leaven in the above passages refers to the teachings, mindsets, and overall spiritual influence that create a religious system. Possibly more dangerous than false religion is the perversion of true. Let’s take a closer look at each of the three…