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The Jews’ LEADERS had studied what the prophets said about the kingdom the Messiah would set up.  But they only looked for words that supported their hopes of defeating the Romans and having their own kingdom again.  When Jesus did not come as the Messiah they expected, they wanted nothing to do with Him.  The more directly He spoke to them, the more they resisted His words.

They would have accepted someone who wanted glory for himself because that person would have flattered them.  But Jesus taught SELFLESS love and they would not have none of it.  The same thing happens today.  Many people ~ even religious leaders ~ reject God’s Word so they can keep their own traditions.

Jesus knew that the priests and rabbis were determined to have Him killed.  Still He gave them a clear picture of His relationship with the Father and His mission to this world.  It left them in fear of the power of His presence and of His words.  Their guilty feelings became an even heavier burden to bear.  Instead of causing them to change their attitudes, it made them even more bitter.  They knew they had no excuse to oppose Jesus but they hated Him anyway.

Their plan had failed to undermine His authority or His popularity with the people; so they began to plot to kill Him.  They sent messengers around the country warning people that Jesus was a fake messiah.  Their spies followed wherever He went, reporting everything He said and did.                                                                                                                          The Savior of the world was now standing in the shadow of the Cross.

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