When you lift a bag of sand from the ground and put it in the back of your car, you’re not opposing gravity’s pull. You are not in opposition to anything, you’re for putting the sand in your car. At most we might say that the gravity is opposing you. If you were doing the same thing on the space station, there would be no opposition. The local situation produces the form and strength of the opposition.

In the same way, if you are sailing across a lake, you are not opposing the water or the wind. You are simply heading towards your destination. Should a storm arise, then we might say the water and wind are opposing your boat, sometimes fiercely, sometimes to the point of sinking your boat. But the boat’s simple intention has never changed

Jesus preached the gospel of God’s love in a certain part of the world at a certain time. We may think of the Sadducees as the gravity of that place and time, and of the Pharisees and high priests and Romans as the windy waves of that place and time. Jesus did not oppose them; they opposed him. Jesus was simply lifting a weight and putting it in a new place, simply steering a boat to a fixed destination.

We must never define Christ and his gospel by the nature of those who opposed him (This was an early mistake of Paul, although he grew out of it. Christ never opposed the Law, scribal or otherwise. The representatives of the Law opposed his gospel.) Different types would have opposed him, wherever and whenever he brought his message.

Different types oppose him and his gospel today.

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