Ever notice how stories can become commonplace as they’re passed down through time? When narratives are familiar, even miracles can seem unimpressive. Some of the stories we’ve heard about Jesus have become so recognizable that it’s easy to take for granted how radical His time on Earth really was. We have the luxury of reading our Bibles with the big picture in mind, but let’s not forget that on the regular: Jesus got in trouble!
Remember those what would Jesus do (WWJD?) bracelets? How about looking at some of what Jesus would, and did, undo. Think about it! He challenged established authority often, and it made Him quite a few enemies. People hated Him. They didn’t know how to respond to Him, and it made them nuts. Some even accused Him of being the devil himself! Leaders of the day watched Jesus closely—fuming and waiting for the chance to take Him down.
8 Times Jesus Got In Trouble
- Jesus overthrew man-made traditions that didn’t line up with what God wanted (like when He overturned the money tables that were turning God’s temple into a marketplace).
- He called out hypocrisy in church leaders (ahem, here’s looking at you, Sanhedrin).
- He made time for outcasts—including female outcasts (the Samaritan woman at the well).
- Jesus healed the broken (the man whose friends lowered him through the roof).
- He sought out the lost (literally, all of us).
- Jesus got in trouble for healing on the Sabbath (religious leaders angrily decided healing = working, and working on the Sabbath day of rest was a no-no).
- He shocked people when He allowed sinful women to touch Him (considered extremely improper on many levels).
- He ate at the home of a nasty tax collector (social pariahs no dignified or religiously correct person should associate with).
Make no mistake—Jesus wasn’t just some rebel determined to cause a ruckus. He submitted to authority when it didn’t conflict with God’s will. However, it’s important to note that Jesus was so in tune with the Father that He didn’t give a flying flip about entertaining the pride of the leaders of the day. (So radical!)
Jesus flipped cultural norms on their head. Jesus loved the unlovable, touched the untouchable, and valued the humble. His life was meant to undo the sinful traps we so easily find ourselves caught in. In that light, isn’t it encouraging to imagine what we can overcome with Jesus’ help too? With His help, we can love just as radically as Jesus.
In what ways do you feel challenged to live the way Jesus lived during his time on Earth? Do you think He would undo anything in our popular culture if He were here in the flesh today? What if you actually lived the godly life others believe you live? What if your worship came from a true desire to live only for God’s will? What do you think would happen if you were fueled by a burning passion to reach others no one else is reaching for Jesus? Can you imagine being free of any prideful pull toward popularity, praise, or recognition? Look at Jesus’ example. Ask Him to work in your heart to give you the wisdom and freedom to be more like Him. And if you get in trouble for being too authentic, too on-fire for God and His kids, or too humble, don’t worry. Jesus got in trouble for those things, too!