In today’s (chronological) Bible reading… Matthew 22:15–23:39; Mark 12:13-44; Luke 20:19–21:4; 13:31-35… we see the religious leaders openly oppose, confront, and resist Jesus.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were Jewish religious leaders, both priests and scribes, who tried to guide others to apply the Old Testament scriptures to their everyday lives. If that had been their only intent, there would have been much value in their work. But, the also interpreted scripture in their favor… and toward their preferences… and from their perspective.
So, as a result, they opposed Jesus. He didn’t fit their idea of what the Messiah was to be. They did not appreciate the attention He attracted… and took from them.
They tried – on several occasions – to back Jesus into a corner… to force Him to choose pleasing the people or pleasing God. But, Jesus never allowed that to become a choice. He always pleased God… and allowed others to interpret that as they would.
When you have that same choice to make – pleasing people or pleasing God, which do you most often choose? You may not realize just how many times each day you and I are forced to make that decision. Peer pressure does NOT end when we graduate high school.
When force to choose, ALWAYS choose pleasing God!