The religious leaders are the most learned. They have kept the Law and the traditions. They are in charge of who is a true prophet. Shouldn’t they understand who Jesus is?
And yet Jesus levels his most scathing accusations at them.
“You belong to your father, the devil..” John 8:44
Jesus chooses everyday fisherman and a tax collector and uneducated men as his inner circle. Nothing about them qualifies them. He chooses Peter, James and John and reveals his glory to them on the mount of transfiguration.
But sometimes they are more like the religious leaders than we might think. They desire status – who is the greatest among them. Peter stands against Jesus when he reveals the Father’s plan – get behind me, Satan.
So those who should’ve known, who should’ve been anticipating Jesus’ coming want to kill him. Those closest to him, the ones he’s shared so much with don’t understand the plan.
However, in spite of the opposition and the misunderstanding Jesus continues to follow his Father’s will. He has compassion on the crowds who would turn against him. He offers extravagant invitations:
“Let anyone who so thirsty come to me and drink…” John 7:37
Those who would want to categorize Jesus as merely a good teacher fail miserably. Jesus will not allow that. His teachings confuse some and anger others. He will not be defined by man. He is defined by the Father:
“The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” John 8:29