Libin Abraham

Libin Abraham

JESUS and POLITICS (2- Part Series)
Part 1 – JESUS or BARABBAS
Mark 12:13-17, Mark 15:1-15

July 21, 2024
Libin Abraham, Lead Pastor Bent Tree Bible Fellowship
Guest Speaker and former Pastor of Multi-Site at SCBC

 

We may be divided in our politics, but we are united in our posture.
When we are united in our posture, we can handle differences in our politics.
Divided Politics in Jesus’ Day:

Sadducees – Accommodated to Rome

Pharisees – Strictly adhered to Mosaic Law

Zealots – Violently resisted the Romans

Essenes  – Disengaged from social and political life

Herodians – Supported Herod’s Dynasty

 Roman Empire – Ruled over the Jewish people from 63 BC to 4th Century AD

 Mark 12:13-14 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and the Herodians to Jesus to trap him in his words. 14 When they came, they said to him, “Teacher, we know you are truthful and don’t care what anyone thinks, nor do you show partiality but teach the way of God truthfully. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” (CSB)

Mark 12:15-16 But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at. They brought a coin. “Whose image and inscription isthis?” he asked them. “Caesar’s,” they replied.

Mark 12:17 Jesus told them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him.

If you give to Caesar what belongs to God, that’s idolatry. And if you refuse to give to Caesar what is rightfully his, that’s disobedience.

Mark 15:1-2 As soon as it was morning, having held a meeting with the elders, scribes, and the whole Sanhedrin, the chief priests tied Jesus up, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered him, You say so.

Mark 15:3-5 And the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate questioned him again, “Aren’t you going to answer? Look how many things they are accusing you of!” But Jesus still did not answer, and so Pilate was amazed.

Followers of Jesus should be most non-anxious people in a politically anxious world.

Mark 15:6-15 At the festival Pilate used to release for the people a prisoner whom they requested. There was one named Barabbas, who was in prison with rebels who had committed murder during the rebellion. The crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do for them as was his custom. Pilate answered them, “Do you want me to release the king of the Jews for you?” 10 For he knew it was because of envy that the chief priests had handed him over. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd so that he would release Barabbas to them instead. 12 Pilate asked them again, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call the king of the Jews?” 13 Again they shouted, “Crucify him!” 14 Pilate said to them, “Why? What has he done wrong?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him!” 15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them; and after having Jesus flogged, he handed him over to be crucified.

Matthew 27:16-17 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” (NIV)

Jesus Barabbas and Jesus the Messiah represent two diametrically opposed paths to bringing change in the world.
 
The way of Barabbas is the way of the world.
The way of Jesus is the way of the cross.
Do I resemble the way of Barabbas or the way of Jesus?