When Jesus appeared and began his teaching and formed his little gospel communities, he was also forming disciples who wanted to do what he did, teach what he taught and save those he saved. Jesus was very unorthodox to the religion of his day. Many, like Saul, (in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles) and others, despised and persecuted those who did not “believe like they did.” “Right religion” will always be persecuting the followers of Jesus, approving of threats, harm and death. Like Saul, before he became Paul, he helped with and witnessed the murder of the first martyr, Stephen. He went from house to house, seeking Christians and arresting men and women and children, all for the ‘glory of God’ in his mind. And the scripture says, “while breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.”
Strange thing about all of this: Jesus never came to ‘establish a new religion.’ He came to present the Father and the Kingdom of God. The love of the Father and reign of the Father, a new life, a new way, a new light… but not a new religion. Freedom and grace are always threatening to legalism and law. The Kingdom of God always threatens right religion.
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Jesus