The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.
When you come face to face with Jesus, there is no middle ground. When you listen to his words, see his compassion, read about his life, there are no easy answers.
The chief priests and teachers were on the receiving side of Jesus’ bold words and actions. Jesus hit them directly and hard with what he said and did.
In their wallets – they received kickbacks from the vendors in the temple area, so their income was hit. How were they going to cut back their lifestyle? Why should they have to live with less because of this no-name amateur preacher from no-where’s-ville?
In their following – the people who’d been following them for so long were totally blown away by Jesus’ personality, communication style, teaching content and powerful miracles. The people were used to powerless and ineffective content that never captivated their hearts or minds.
In their pride – After all, they were “the pros” who had been in power for so long. People had stooped and submitted to them for as long as they could remember. How were they going to walk down the street without the people comparing them to Jesus? They once were at the top of the social ladder and now, not so much.
Jesus wasn’t someone they could just ignore. The chief priests and teachers were knocked off their perch. How could they compete?
They couldn’t. So, there was only one thing to do. Remove the threat to all they had become accustomed to. They had to get rid of the threat, so they had to eliminate Jesus.
They’d come to a fork in the road that everyone comes to when it comes to Jesus. You can’t just say, “This Jesus is an interesting fellow. He’s got a few good things to say, and he says them convincingly. But I’m not going to buy into everything he says. I’ll pick out what I agree with and push aside everything else. Especially his claims to be God.”
Jesus doesn’t give us the option of selectively picking out pieces from him. His words. His actions. You take all of Jesus or you take nothing. Listen to what C.S. Lewis wrote about Jesus.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say.
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.
Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Clive hits the nail right on the head. You take all of Jesus, or you take none of him. He didn’t give us the option of slicing him up like lunchmeat from the deli counter.
“I’ll have a half-pound of rare roast beef, sliced thin. I’ll take a third of a pound of the boiled, low salt ham sliced medium. And a pound of the bologna, sliced thick.”
No, you take Jesus, or you walk away from him. To try and only take a part of him is to walk away from him.
· He came to give us hope, not a hope so.
· He came to give us power, not weak power.
· He came to give us life, not part of a life.
Many people react differently to Jesus. But there are no options when it comes to Jesus, only two choices. The options are to walk away from him or receive him: fully, freely, completely. The old hymn says it so well.
Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
 Just as I am, Author: Charlotte Elliott