We’re all familiar with bad religion…not the punk band from the 80’s, but the expression of piety that is neither holy nor helpful, but often downright harmful. I don’t know the percentages, but the gospels deal with bad religion a lot. I mean, it was bad religion that got Jesus crucified
One of the regular sayings I hear is that “Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship” – and I don’t disagree with that statement. Still, technically, Christianity is a religion – just one that doesn’t place an emphasis on ritualistic performance but rather a dynamic bond with our Creator.
In our study of Luke this Sunday we’ll look at some examples of bad religion and consider why it went bad. We’ll be reading a short section from ch 21:37-22:6.
Everyone was in Jerusalem for the annual Passover celebration – and Jesus was camping on the Mount of Olives with his crew. That’s the setting – but the characters we read about are our focus. While everyone was in town to remember the deliverance from slavery and death that God brought to Israel – what are the religious leaders occupied with? What does that contrast convey to you?
They don’t want to arrest Jesus publicly because of how the crowds might react. Where is their focus, and what does that tell us about how their religious pursuit went wrong?
We aren’t really told what motivated Judas to betray Jesus, except for the phrase that “Satan entered into Judas”. “The satan” means accuser or adversary…an enemy. What is this language telling us about what has happened in Judas’ attitude and intention? How does that clue us in as to the ways in which one’s religion might go sour?
This will certainly give us a lot to think about – I hope you can join us this Sunday!