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Opposition to Jesus Christ

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Jesus Christ encountered criticism, grumbling and plotting because he was seen as a threat to the religious and political hierarchy, and because he exposed sin.

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Opposition by different groups

By family and friends

Luke 4:24–29 NLT
But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown. “Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years, and a severe famine devastated the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. And many in Israel had leprosy in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.” When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff,
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By religious leaders

Matthew 12:14 NLT
Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus.
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By political leaders


Opposition through criticism and accusation

Criticism of Jesus Christ’s choice of company

Matthew 9:11 NLT
But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”
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Criticism for breaking with tradition

Though criticism is directed at the disciples, it is really against Jesus Christ; ;

Accusations of Sabbath-breaking

John 5:16 NLT
So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules.
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Accusations of blasphemy

John 10:33 NLT
They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”
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Accusations of being demon-possessed

John 10:20 NLT
Some said, “He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?”
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Reasons for opposing Jesus Christ

Because of hatred

John 15:23–25 NLT
Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’
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Because people’s minds are closed

John 8:43–44 NLT
Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
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Jesus Christ knew where opposition would lead

Matthew 16:21 NLT
From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.
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Unsuccessful opposition before the crucifixion

Early attempts to arrest Jesus Christ

John 10:39 NLT
Once again they tried to arrest him, but he got away and left them.
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Attempts on Jesus Christ’s life

John 8:59 NLT
At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.
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Opposition that led to the crucifixion

Plots by the Jewish leaders

Matthew 26:3–4 NLT
At that same time the leading priests and elders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest, plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him.
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The chief priests stirred up the crowd

Matthew 27:20–23 NLT
Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death. So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?” The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!” Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!” “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?” But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”
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Rejection by political authorities

Matthew 27:26 NLT
So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.
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The mockery of the Roman soldiers

Matthew 27:27–31 NLT
Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

The betrayal by Judas Iscariot

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Opposition at the crucifixion


Opposition to Jesus Christ in apostolic preaching

Acts 3:13–15 NLT
For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him. You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!
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Saul of Tarsus opposes Jesus Christ

Acts 9:4–5 NLT
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!
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