The religious brokers had a great gig going. They were responsible for judging others. They were the rules makers. They made a good living making the kingdom of God unattainable to most. But Jesus messed them up.
This is what Jesus had to say about these Pharisees – these religious egomaniacs:
Matthew 23:4 “They crush people with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.”
Jesus came to earth and revolutionized religion. He broke the power of legalism. He set free those who had been held captive by excessive regulations.
Jesus was The Gospel. He came to bring good news.
The only people who don’t like Good News are the ones who gain money and power from bad news. Everybody else loves good news.
So here Jesus is, in the face of the haters. He confronts the hypercritical judges. He won’t let them get by with replacing God’s laws with human-made rules.
These Pharisees were insecure. They were confused. But instead of reaching out to God for help, they did their best to drag others down with them, and they did so with great pride and self-righteousness. Jesus exposed all of this publicly. He foiled their plans to destroy others. And they hated Him for it.
Jesus comes in the face of pain and brings peace. He confronts sickness and brings healing. He breathes the love of God on sinners.
Jesus led a Good News conspiracy.