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Know God in a Year #24 The Religion of Jesus

Even as a child, Jesus ideas about religion were different than those of the rabbis and priests. At that time, religion had become synonymous with rules. But his whole approach to life and religion was one: to bless others as he understood God blessing everyone, regardless of their class, job, or situation. He seemed continually aware of God’s presence, and his happiest hours were spent alone, outdoors.

As he developed, he continually found in nature new ways to relieve suffering. His miracles hadn’t started yet, but his presence carried an energy and a peace that uplifted people and even animals. He knew God personally, and he had no use for rules or rulers that forced people into strict adherence to man-made regulations and called it obedience.

His discernment was clear, yet this made his life painful. It often brought him into conflict with the religious authorities because he thought for himself and forged his own beliefs from Scripture and his understanding of God. He seemed to know the scriptures from end to end.

His parents questioned his beliefs, while his brothers cited tradition and accused him of stubbornness.

Friends and relatives thought him narrow and yet were jealous of his generous, loving spirit. If they were mean-spirited, Jesus would go to the very ones they had distressed and give kind attention. He taught everyone to look at themselves as precious to God with gifts He delighted to see them use.

His intimacy with God, his strength of identity, and his pain over injustice and evil set him apart. His religion was a relationship with God that spilled over onto others.

Mark 3:20-21

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