Jesus’ contention with the leadership in Jerusalem is that they would not know the Messiah if they met Him (John 8:21-30). He was right of course because they met Him and did not know Him. Jesus contention went further, they did not know the Father either. The reasons for this are many. However, they boil down to one thing, the world. Probably the biggest problem they had was the orientation of their being. They decided to focus on all the things in this world, respond to all the things, find ways to be coincident with the things of and try to be pious in the world at the same time. They feared the world.
Jesus wants us to be wholly focused on and having faith in Him alone. That does not mean we cannot do business in this world, but our business considerations should be properly reverent of God and Heaven, holding Him first always. job was the most wealthy man in the region in his day and God himself said he was blameless.
What’s worse is that these men were spiritual leaders overly focused on worldliness. We should always have God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit in the forefront of our minds eye and desires. We may want the things of the world, but see through God’s prism and conform our desires to God’s will.
We can use the worlds tools for God’s glory, but we cannot fool ourselves into thinking we need to appease the world to do so. That is where the Sadducees failed. We cannot make extra rules to follow to try to stay pure from the world, that is the mistake the Pharisees made. We cannot use the world for vengeance and to exact God’s judgment against those we think are blasphemous, that is the mistake the Chief Priests made, and the same mistake all those whom have persecuted Christ’s true followers made in the past be they Jews in the time of Christ, Catholics or Protestants in the reformation or Islam in our world today. All those efforts are of the father of this world, not the Father of Heaven.
If Jesus taught us anything it was to focus on the things above and the things of this earth will grow dim and fall away as unimportant. Focusing upon God and the things of God in life forces the eternally important issues to the forefront. Know the Son of the scripture in your heart and you will see the Father in Heaven with your own eyes.