I tell young pastors going to established churches to expect some resistance or push back. Although the title of “Pastor” will be received immediately, it often takes about five years to be really accepted as the leader of an existing church. Why is that? Because when a new pastor seeks to follow God’s will and implement change, very often certain people will dig in their heels and resist. For this reason, the average tenure of a pastor in our denomination is about three years – the difficulties to hang in there and stay with it seem too much.
Jesus understood this. He, too, was opposed by the religious leaders of His time. Now in today’s world, these “religious elite” can be compared to the old-school “faithful” in a church being resistant to the new direction God is leading a pastor. They can also be the “politically correct” society that condemns every idea that doesn’t fit their man made view of morality. (What irony in that they often accuse Christians of trying to force their views on others.)
Facing resistance from these two camps, a Jesus follower can feel shamed and even cast out of contemporary culture. In the first century, Jesus faced this same type of opposition from the religious leaders. Eventually, their fear and closed hearts would send Jesus to the cross.
Why were the religious leaders so opposed to Jesus? They saw the miracles. They couldn’t deny Jesus’ super-natural power, but they felt threatened. Responding out of fear, they accused Jesus of being evil. Their hearts were so hardened and closed to the Truth that they saw anyone who opposed THEM as evil.
This is the danger zone: It’s allowing our pride and self-righteousness to blind us to the Truth of the Gospel. If you find yourself in that danger zone, open your eyes to the Truth. Allow God to remove your pride and open your eyes to the greatest gift you’ll ever know – the Gospel of Jesus Christ.