What Time is it: Part 3: The Outcasts And The Establishment
What Time is it? Part 3: The Outcasts and the Establishment
This is part 3 of our series on end time beliefs. In this section, I want to compare the life of Jesus and the existing religious system. The coming Messiah had been prophesied in scripture from the book of Genesis all the way through Malachi. Some of those prophecies included:
* He would be born in Bethlehem: (Micah 5:2).
* He would be born of a virgin: (Isaiah 7:14).
* He would enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey: (Zechariah 9:9).
* He would be betrayed by a friend: (Psalm 41:9).
* He would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver: (Zechariah 11:12).
* His bones would not be broken: (Psalm 34:20).
* They would divide his clothing and cast lots for them: (Psalm 22:18).
* He will be given vinegar and gall to drink: (Psalm 69:21).
* They planned to bury Him with the wicked but instead He was buried with the rich when Joseph of Arimathea gave Jesus his own tomb. (Isaiah 53:9).
There were many, many more prophecies that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus, but the established religious leaders of the day missed them, or chose to intentionally ignore them. The existing structure gave them earthly power over their fellow man and they did not want to give it up to a new comer, whether He was the Messiah or not.
On the other hand, the outcasts flocked to Jesus in droves. Thousands followed Him and at least one washed His feet with their tears. The lost sheep recognized the true Shepherd.
In Matthew chapter two, when King Herod heard that the Messiah was born, he immediately tried to kill Him and had all of the children in Bethlehem under two years old put to death. He was too late for Joseph had been warned in a dream and taken his family to Egypt. Though Herod was raised as a Jew, he would rather kill the Messiah than lose his throne.
- Jesus was Humble, Modest, and Lowly. He was persecuted by the opposite.
- There are three “P”s of warning in leaders: Pride, Pomp, and Power.
- The three “P”s guarantee that the blind are leading the blind.
In a stark contrast, when the simple shepherds learned of His birth they came to Bethlehem and found the baby Jesus laying in a feeding trough. The wise men came and brought gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.
Jesus was born in a stable to a mother that was probably between twelve to fourteen years old. His dad Joseph was a carpenter and they lived a simple life. When Jesus began His ministry, He chose uneducated fishermen and tax collectors to represent Him.
Now tax collectors were considered lower than prostitutes at the time. They were often Jews that collected taxes for the Roman occupiers and they were considered to be traitors to their country. They often charged way more than required and kept that portion for themselves. Jesus recruited Matthew the tax collector, who then wrote the first gospel.
(Matthew 9:10–11 NKJV) Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus’ willingness to identify Himself with the undesirables is a prominent feature of the gospels. They loved Him, and He loved them. Jesus was not ashamed of the outcasts. In fact, He came to seek them out.
(Luke 19:1–10 NKJV) “Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”
So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they (The Pharisees) saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Jesus sought out the outcasts and had lunch with them in their homes, and they loved Him. Jesus ate with the tax collectors and sinners while the religious upper class looked on in disgust.
Jesus washed the feet of His disciples like He was their Servant and expected His followers to do the same.
Jesus said: “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12 NKJV).
And: “For he who is least among you all will be great.” (Luke 9:48 NKJV).
The teachers of the law who took care of the scriptures and taught the people had made it so obscure and mysterious that no one could even understand it anymore. Jesus told them:
(Luke 11:52–54 NKJV) “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.” And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him.”
Jesus told the Pharisees, who were very religious: (Mark 7:6–8 NKJV) “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”
The Pharisees practiced a religion of works without the relationship. People like Moses, David and Daniel built the relationship as well.
Jesus was poor in earthly wealth. When Jesus and Peter came to Capernaum the people who collect the temple tax asked them for money, but they apparently didn’t have enough to pay it. Jesus told Peter to “go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.” (Matthew 17:27 NKJV). If they would have had the money on them, Peter would not have had to go fishing but would have said: “Heres a fiver. Keep the change.”
Jesus told us about how He felt about the self righteous:
(Luke 18:9–14 NKJV) “Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. (Again we see the outcast and the establishment) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The established religion of the day had no room for the real Messiah. Instead they hated Him. They were jealous, and were always trying to trap Him in His words. When the Lord pushed us into ministry, I never thought that my greatest critics would be inside of the church… sermon nazis that listen for a whole year just to find something to disagree about.
We have had little old ladies read our devotional every day and then when Sylvia put a nice note at the bottom of the devotional, like “Thank you for supporting RHM”, they write back and tell us to burn in hell because they thought we were asking them for money. Anyway, I will get back to the sermon. That is free.
(Revelation 3:14–22 NKJV) “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Lukewarm. It would be better to not know God at all, to be a complete atheist, than to be a Christian without the fire. This scripture describes a church that practices a lukewarm, dead religion. They feel they are wealthy and have need of nothing, but they are spiritually blind, naked, and poor.
Can you see the differences? When mankind think they have it all together, they are completely lost. When they have all of the answers, God usually thinks the exact opposite. The carnal mind is always contrary to the Holy Spirit.
We still have the two sides today, the outcasts, and the religious establishment. Don’t look to the rich, famous, and accepted for accurate answers to biblical questions.
(Luke 6:20–26 NKJV) “Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets. “But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.”
(John 15:18–19 NKJV) “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
(Luke 21:17 NKJV) “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.”
Now to sum all of this up, scripture makes it very clear to not look to the rich and famous people who are loved by the world for accurate biblical answers. They are actually poor, naked and blind. Scripture makes it clear that people can say the right things, and live the wrong things. Do not look to powerful religious leaders who in reality would rather kill the Messiah than give Him their position.
- Jesus was Humble, Modest, and Lowly.
- Watch for the three “P”s of warning: Pride, Pomp, and Power.
All of this will begin to make more sense in the coming weeks. What I do want to make clear is that the true church of Jesus was persecuted, hated and still is in various parts of the world. Jesus loved the outcasts. Overall, the religious establishment missed His first coming, then hated Him, were jealous, and had Him crucified. We should be very cautious of listening to them again.
Remember the three “P”s: Pride, Pomp, and Power. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, but there are those today that expect you to kiss theirs. Be wary of their advice.Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org