DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Out of curiosity, I read through one of the Gospels recently, and I was puzzled why some people opposed Jesus and even wanted to kill him. It seems to me that they should have welcomed him. — P.R.
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No, it doesn’t make sense — not if we truly understand who Jesus was and why he came to Earth. He was the divine Son of God, sent from heaven to bless us and make our lives better. Why would anyone be opposed to that?
And yet you’re right; from the beginning some opposed Jesus and wanted to get rid of him. When he visited his hometown, people became enraged at his claim to be the predicted Messiah, and attempted to throw him off a nearby cliff. After he revealed the hypocrisy of some of the religious leaders, they reacted angrily and began plotting his death. Pilate, the Roman governor, thought Jesus was innocent, but still gave in to the pressure of the crowd and ordered his execution.
Why did they oppose him? Some were afraid of losing their wealth or power if Jesus became popular. Others hated him because he exposed their sins, and they didn’t want to repent. Still others turned against him because he refused to meet their selfish demands.
What keeps you from surrendering your life to Jesus? Are you clinging to some sin you don’t want to give up (although you know it might destroy you)? Or are you determined to keep control of your life instead of turning it over to God?
Whatever your reasons, face them honestly, and then repent of them and commit your life to Christ. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).