When Jesus started His Ministry, what we have are accounts of severe opposition to this Ministry from certain quarters. He was dogged by criticisms, slanders, insinuations and so on throughout His life until finally He was crucified. From the moment that Jesus started on His Mission He was vilified in the most base way by those in authority.
Let us, however, examine those who opposed Jesus. They were mostly those in religious authority at the time. They were the leaders of the religion represented by Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes and the High Priest. The opposition from the secular authority was much less if not even non-existent.
Jesus was opposed by the existing religion or better said by the leaders of the existing religion because what He had to say did not correspond with what they wanted to hear and the fact that He was beginning to have many followers who would rather now be with Jesus than offer offerings at the Temple disturbed them because of the authority they were thereby losing and the income associated with this.
Jesus, Who was the Son of God Who was sent to give enlightenment about God was accused of blasphemy by those who apparently were representing the same God! How strange! This only goes to show that all they had built up hitherto did not correspond with what God wanted. It showed that they had built up teachings on their own which was contrary to what God wanted otherwise the teaching of Jesus would have corresponded with their teachings and there would have been no dissensions and no need to oppose Jesus.
If they truly were serving God all Jesus’ Words would have accorded with the existing religion absolutely. Their teachings would have completely accorded with Jesus’. This was not so because they were not serving God but serving another master. They were servants of the intellect and not servants of the spirit.
The Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees represented power in the Jewish religion at that time. They were the leaders of this religion and controlled the doctrines. In spite of this God still saw it fit to send His own Son to bring the Truth in His Word because what the Jewish religion had become did not represent what God wanted for His children who as a result could not find the simple way back to Him.
The people had become entangled in the undergrowth of innumerable external observances which detracted from the real essence. Precious time was being wasted on what did not matter in the worship of God and the common people were being oppressed by this heavy yoke which did not lead to God. The beneficiaries of this yoke on the people were the priests themselves.
So it was to be expected that when Jesus came Who showed man the simple way to God He was undermining what to these leaders were their daily bread and power and authority. They were not going to go down without a fight. They were going to do all that was necessary to eliminate this troublesome admonisher.
If they were true servants of God they would have welcomed Jesus with open arms and would have joyfully accepted what He brought and made corrections in their doctrines. It showed that it was not actually a question of the doctrine but more of a fight for the preservation of power and authority. They did not care if what they were teaching was wrong as long as they remained in authority.
They lost everything through the Truth and this they could not bear. As a result they used the earthly power at their disposal to spread slander, distrust, envy, hatred and finally managing to bring Him to the cross. They proved themselves enemies of God because they had opposed and killed His Son.
Since their profession laid in this being leaders of a religion they could not exercise that objectivity and humility to accept greatness when they see it and to yield to it. It is possible that the same could easily happen today as we indeed have to be very upright human beings to accept when we are wrong, especially when our livelihoods depend on it.
Let us hope that the leaders of present day religious movements and also the individual human being would be able to do this when the Truth emerges and touches us.