The religious elite ignored Him as long as they could. Since Jesus sported no theological degrees and wasn’t part of the pastors guild, they didn’t take Him seriously. He was not credible in their eyes. But they could only follow this course for so long. His influence grew so large that they couldn’t ignore Him any longer. So they must extend to Him the credibility of engagement.
They came out with all guns blazing, seeking to refute Him. First, their pushback was targeted at the content of His teaching. But after realizing that they couldn’t successfully discount what He said, they downshifted to an ad hominem assault. Personal attacks became their new weapon for dismissal: “He has no authority to say what He’s saying.” “He’s not seminary trained.” “He has no ordination papers.” “He’s not a scholar.”
Then it escalated: “He was born as the result of fornication.” “He’s a blasphemer.” “He’s deceptive.” “He’s a glutton and a drunkard.” “He’s a false prophet.” And the ultimate attack: “Satan is working through Him!”[Continue Reading…]