Religion

<< Demons, Souls & Angels

Jesus’ was critical of the religious leadership of the day and those making records of the scriptures. Jesus taught that the religion of the day was a barrier to the Kingdom of Heaven and a stumbling block for seekers.

Mat 23:13 But a curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! because you are shutting the kingdom of heaven against men: for you do not go in yourselves, and those who are going in, you keep back.
Mat 23:14 []
Mat 23:15 A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you go about land and sea to get one disciple and, having him, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
Mat 23:16 A curse is on you, blind guides, who say, Whoever takes an oath by the Temple, it is nothing; but whoever takes an oath by the gold of the Temple, he is responsible. – Gospels According To Matthew

This parable seems to suggest, that if religious institutions fail to help people in their journey to the Kingdom of God that they will be replaced. Also that the problem was an ongoing issue.

Mat 21:33 Give ear to another story. A master of a house made a vine garden, and put a wall round it, and made a place for crushing out the wine, and made a tower, and let it out to field-workers, and went into another country.
Mat 21:34 And when the time for the fruit came near, he sent his servants to the workmen, to get the fruit.
Mat 21:35 And the workmen made an attack on his servants, giving blows to one, putting another to death, and stoning another.
Mat 21:36 Again, he sent other servants more in number than the first: and they did the same to them.
Mat 21:37 But after that he sent his son to them, saying, They will have respect for my son.
Mat 21:38 But when the workmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is he who will one day be the owner of the property; come, let us put him to death and take his heritage.
Mat 21:39 And they took him and, driving him out of the vine-garden, put him to death.
Mat 21:40 When, then, the lord of the vine-garden comes, what will he do to those workmen?
Mat 21:41 They say to him, He will put those cruel men to a cruel death, and will let out the vine-garden to other workmen, who will give him the fruit when it is ready.

Mat 21:45 And when his stories came to the ears of the chief priests and the Pharisees, they saw that he was talking of them. – Gospels According To Matthew

Prophets have been sent to advise you; but you have persecuted them and even put them to death. You are responsible for all the blood of the upright on this Earth. From Abel (Genesis Historical book) to Zachariah (Prophetical book). These teachings also suggest the scribes have been adding harsh rules of their own to the scriptures, laying heavy burdens on people, while not lifting a finger themselves.

Mat 23:33 You snakes, offspring of snakes, how will you be kept from the punishment of hell?
Mat 23:34 For this reason, I send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: some of them you will put to death and put on the cross, and to some of them you will give blows in your Synagogues, driving them from town to town;
Mat 23:35 So that on you may come all the blood of the upright on the earth, from the blood of upright Abel to the blood of Zachariah, son of Barachiah, whom you put to death between the Temple and the altar. – Gospels According To Matthew

Mat 15:9 But their worship is to no purpose, while they give as their teaching the rules of men.

Luk 11:42 But a curse is on you, Pharisees! for you make men give a tenth of every sort of plant, and give no thought to right and the love of God; but it is right for you to do these things, and not let the others be undone.
Luk 11:43 A curse is on you, Pharisees! for your desires are for the most important seats in the Synagogues and for words of respect said to you in the market-place.
Luk 11:44 A curse is on you! for you are like the resting-places of dead men, which are not seen, and men go walking over them without knowledge of it.
Luk 11:45 And one of the teachers of the law, answering, said to him, Master, in saying this, you give a bad name to us as to them.
Luk 11:46 And he said, A curse is on you, teachers of the law! for while other men are crushed under the weight of the rules you make for them, you yourselves do not put so much as one finger to them.
Luk 11:47 A curse is on you! for you make resting-places for the bodies of the prophets, but your fathers put them to death.
Luk 11:48 So you are witnesses and give approval to the work of your fathers; for they put them to death and you make their last resting-places.
Luk 11:49 For this reason the wisdom of God has said, I will send them prophets and teachers, and to some of them they will give death and cruel pains;
Luk 11:50 So that punishment may come on this generation for the blood of all the prophets which was given from the earliest days;
Luk 11:51 From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who was put to death between the altar and the Temple. Yes, I say to you, It will come on this generation.
Luk 11:52 A curse is on you, teachers of the law! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you did not go in yourselves, and you got in the way of those who were going in. – Gospels According To Luke

The message seems to be work together in mutual trust and cooperation. There are passages suggesting that fellowship on Earth in Jesus’ name needs only be between as few as 2 people.

Mat 18:18 Truly I say to you, Whatever things are fixed by you on earth will be fixed in heaven: and whatever you make free on earth will be made free in heaven.
Mat 18:19 Again, I say to you, that if two of you are in agreement on earth about anything for which they will make a request, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
Mat 18:20 For where two or three are come together in my name, there am I among them. – Gospels According To Matthew

Anyone acting in Jesus name can not speak ill of him.

Mak 9:38 John said to him, Master, we saw one driving out evil spirits in your name: and we said that he might not, because he is not one of us.
Mak 9:39 But Jesus said, Say not so: for there is no man who will do a great work in my name, and be able at the same time to say evil of me.
Mak 9:40 He who is not against us is for us. – Gospels According To Mark

Luk 9:49 And John, answering, said, Master, we saw a man driving out evil spirits in your name, and we did not let him do it, because he was not one of us.
Luk 9:50 But Jesus said to him, Let him do it, for he who is not against you is for you. – Gospels According To Luke

This suggests, greed in the religious leadership. Accumulating property from widows and demonstrating decadence. Jesus noted, that, from those adding to the coffers, he valued a smaller contribution from a widow, as it was all she had. Others made larger contributions but could afford a lot more. Jesus appreciates the dedication of the widow but chastises the religious leadership for taking it.

Mak 12:38 And in his teaching he said, Be on your watch against the scribes, whose pleasure it is to go about in long robes and be respected in the market-places,
Mak 12:39 And to have the chief seats in the Synagogues and the first places at feasts;
Mak 12:40 Who take away the property of widows, and before the eyes of men make long prayers; these will be judged more hardly.
Mak 12:41 And he took a seat by the place where the money was kept, and saw how the people put money into the boxes: and a number who had wealth put in much.
Mak 12:42 And there came a poor widow, and she put in two little bits of money, which make a farthing.
Mak 12:43 And he made his disciples come to him, and said to them, Truly I say to you, This poor widow has put in more than all those who are putting money into the box:
Mak 12:44 Because they all put in something out of what they had no need for; but she out of her need put in all she had, even all her living. –Gospels According To Mark

Jesus, highlights the deceptiveness of the religious elite, exclaiming that deceptive conduct, or that which goes on behind closed doors, will ultimately be revealed to the light of day. Don’t be afraid of those who can hurt you here in the temporal world. They can only do you harm here.

Luk 12:1 At that time, when thousands of the people had come together, in such numbers that they were crushing one another, he said first to his disciples, Have nothing to do with the leaven of the Pharisees, which is deceit.
Luk 12:2 But nothing is covered up, which will not come to light, or secret, which will not be made clear.
Luk 12:3 So, whatever you have said in the dark, will come to men’s hearing in the light, and what you have said secretly inside the house, will be made public from the house-tops.
Luk 12:4 And I say to you, my friends, Have no fear of those who may put the body to death, and are able to do no more than that.
Luk 12:5 But I will make clear to you of whom you are to be in fear: of him who after death has power to send you to hell; yes, truly I say, Have fear of him.
Luk 12:6 Are not five sparrows given in exchange for two farthings? and God has every one of them in mind.
Luk 12:7 But even the hairs of your head are numbered. Have no fear: you are of more value than a flock of sparrows. – Gospels According To Luke

Religion accused Jesus of cleansing spirits with support of the devil not God. Jesus proclaimed that the devil would not try to harm his agents. That is perhaps something along the lines of stating that the devil wouldn’t shoot himself in the foot.

Mat 12:22 Then they took to him one with an evil spirit, who was blind and had no power of talking: and he made him well so that he had the power of talking and seeing.
Mat 12:23 And all the people were surprised and said, Is not this the Son of David?
Mat 12:24 But the Pharisees, hearing of it, said, This man only sends evil spirits out of men by Beelzebub, the ruler of evil spirits.
Mat 12:25 And having knowledge of their thoughts he said to them, Every kingdom having division in itself is made waste, and every town or house having division in itself will come to destruction.
Mat 12:26 And if Satan sends out Satan, he makes war against himself; how then will he keep his kingdom?
Mat 12:27 And if I by Beelzebub send evil spirits out of men, by whom do your sons send them out? So let them be your judges.
Mat 12:28 But if I by the Spirit of God send out evil spirits, then is the kingdom of God come on you.
Mat 12:29 Or how may one go into a strong man’s house and take his goods, if he does not first put cords round the strong man? and then he may take his goods. – Gospels According To Matthew

This seems to be a critique to the Pharisees, noting that if they take incomes off a man so much that he cant support his father and mother; then in so doing they are a stumbling block to him; and he can’t honour his parents.

Mak 7:10 For Moses said, Give honour to your father and mother, and, He who says evil of father or mother, let him have the punishment of death:
Mak 7:11 But you say, If a man says to his father or his mother, That by which you might have had profit from me is Corban, that is to say, Given to God,
Mak 7:12 You no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother;

A Closing Thought On Religion

The true church on earth is the individual and group of individuals, of one purpose, of one body, of one mind, who follow and give freely the teachings of Jesus.

Parables & The Kingdom Of God >>