by Rob Clogg
When Jesus was on earth four prominent groups sought to influence culture. The Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots and Essenes all had different perspectives. Pharisees were ‘conservatives’ who added numerous extra laws to live by. Sadducees were liberals’ who denied miracles. Zealots were militants who wanted to overthrow the Roman system. Essenes were like monks who withdrew from society. Jesus chose not to identify with any of them.
Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
A paraphrase says, “Don’t be shaped into the world’s mold.” In the Message, “Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Jesus was countercultural. He did not identify with any of these groups. However, He was more conservative than any conservative because He was “truth”, more liberal than the liberals because He was “love”. He not only withdrew from people but he carried on intimate conversation with His Father. He was more zealous than the zealots because he won the greatest battle in history by going to the cross.
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