Religious people love to be religious. Religious people pray the same prayers they were taught to pray, they sing the same songs they have always sung, and they worship God the same way that their parents and grandparents worshiped God. Religious people have rules about life and they follow them, religiously. They love to do things the same way they have always done them, because that’s their religion. Religion can be a powerful motivator and snare.
The religious people of Jesus' day were extremely religious. They had followed the same set of rules for hundreds of years. Along came Jesus and He really upset their apple cart. They had rules about what you could and could not do on the Sabbath. Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man, and not the other way around. They even had rules about who you could and could not eat with. So, to show them whom He came to save, Jesus ate with sinners.
In Luke Chapter 20, these religious people were threatened by Jesus because He had come to change traditions that they held dear. They questioned His authority, they tried to trick Him into saying something illegal or ignorant, and they tried to get Him arrested. Jesus just responded to them with wisdom that they couldn't refute from their own law, as well as with stories, or parables, that pointed out how wicked these religious people really were.
Jesus was all about relationships and not religion. He wants us to care more about relationships than religion. He told us to love God and to love others. Love is something we do to relate to others. It says, “I care about you, not what church you attend, or how self-righteous you are.” Jesus warned us to “Beware of religion and religious people.” They only care about their religion, and this will be their downfall.
Love God. Love others. That's all the religion we need.