Jesus vs. leaders of Israel in the Gospel of Mark

Jesus vs. leaders of Israel in the Gospel of Mark

4-5-18

In the Gospel of Mark, a book in the Christian Bible, Jesus was despised by the leaders of Israel because he was preaching a revolutionary religion called Christianity. The official religion in Israel at that time was Judaism and the leaders were becoming wary of Jesus’ growing influence throughout the land. The Israel leaders tried to prevent Jesus from preaching his doctrine, but it always resulted in Jesus becoming more renowned and in turn made the leaders more spiteful. Despite the leaders’ advances against Jesus, the doctrine spread rapidly across the region.

When Jesus started preaching his doctrine, the leaders became fearful that Jesus was attempting to undermine them and Judaism. Jesus was claiming that he was the son of God and to prove his claim, he performed miracles in the name of God. The miracles included; healing, exorcisms, feeding thousands with little food, etc. This was blasphemy in the leaders’ eyes because in Judaism there is only one God. These actions made the leaders detest Jesus because he only gained more followers with each miracle he performed.

One day, Jesus was healing a group of people on a day of rest in Jewish tradition called the Sabbath. A group of Jews that were watching Jesus healing people went to tell the leaders that Jesus was healing people on the Sabbath, which was illegal. The leaders had begun to sabotage Jesus’ doctrine by publicly criticizing Jesus for working (healing) on the Sabbath. They said that because God created the Sabbath, no work is to be done on that day, including healing. Jesus rebuked them, saying that the Sabbath was created for man, not vice versa. He also exclaimed to the people that the leaders would rather let people unnecessarily suffer for the leaders’ beliefs instead of relieving people from their suffering as soon as possible. This put the leaders in an unlikeable spotlight in the eyes of the people, so they stopped pressing their grievances.

Jesus and his disciples went to a Temple in Jerusalem and threw out the corrupt people inside of it. The leaders went to the Temple and asked Jesus, “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?” Mark: 11:28. This was a trick question to undermine Jesus because if he said that his authority came from God, the leaders could arrest him for blasphemy and probably execute him. If Jesus said that his authority came from himself, he would lose credibility in the eyes of his followers. Jesus replied with, “I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.” Mark: 11:29.

When Jesus was baptized, the prophet John was a witness to God proclaiming that Jesus was his son, so John told people about God’s proclamation. If the leaders said that John’s baptism was from heaven, Jesus would have asked them, “Why did you not believe him”. The leaders dared not to say that John’s baptism was from men, for they feared the people’s reaction because they truly believed that John was a prophet. The leaders offered no answer, so Jesus did not answer and the leaders’ animosity toward Jesus only grew.

There are numerous reasons why the leaders quarreled with Jesus, but the main reason had to do with Jesus preaching a new doctrine and his claims that he was the Son of God. This went against everything that the leaders believed in, as they believed in only one God and one religion, Judaism. This was the main wall that divided the leaders from converting to Christianity and the reason why they repeatedly tried to undercut Jesus. The wall dividing Jesus and the leaders grew so thick over time that the leaders eventually handed Jesus over to the Roman authorities to be crucified. It was because of the leaders’ stubbornness and religious beliefs that they divided themselves from Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

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