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Know God in a Year #24 The Religion of Jesus

Even as a child, Jesus ideas about religion dare to be different than those of the rabbis and priests. At that time, religion had become rules, but his whole approach to life and religion is to bless others as he understands God blessing everyone, regardless of their class, job, or situation. He seems continually aware of God’s presence, and his happiest hours are spent alone, outdoors.

As he develops, he continually finds in nature new ways to relieve suffering. His miracles haven’t started yet, but his presence carries an energy and a peace that uplifts people and even animals. He knows God personally, and he has no use for rules or rulers that force people into strict adherence to man-made regulations and call it obedience.

His discernment is clear, yet this makes his life painful. It often brings him into conflict with the religious authorities because he thinks for himself and forges his own beliefs from Scripture and his understanding of God. He seems to know the scriptures from end to end.

His parents question his beliefs, while his brothers cite tradition and accuse him of stubbornness.

Friends and relatives think him narrow and yet are jealous of his generous, loving spirit. If his brothers are mean-spirited, Jesus goes to the very ones they have distressed with kind attention. He teaches everyone to look at themselves as precious to God with gifts He delights to see them use.

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

Mark 3:20-21

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