2. Jesus hates religion because religion focuses on the wrong person
You know who’s at the center of religion? You are. You’re the focus. You’re the star. You’re in center stage and the spotlight is always on you. Religion deceives you into thinking you’re all about God, when in reality, you’re all about you.
When you’re in religion, your relationship with God is based entirely on you; on how many prayers you pray, how you do at reading the Scriptures, how you do in keeping the commands, how you do at going to church, and on and on the list goes. Religion is based on man’s continued work.
The Gospel is altogether different. The Gospel says your relationship with God is based on Jesus’ finished work. On the Cross, Jesus said, “It is finished.” The work of salvation is complete. There’s nothing left to add, nothing left to contribute, nothing left to accomplish. It’s done.
Since religion is based on man’s work it leads to man’s glory. You boast in your performance and your morality and your good deeds. You’re the hero. But the Gospel is based on Jesus’ work and so it leads to God’s glory. Our boasting is in Christ alone. He is the victor. It is His work that is celebrated, extolled, and applauded. He and He alone is the Hero.
Ultimately, religion makes much of you and little of Christ. The Gospel makes much of Christ and little of you.