Jesus and Religious Leaders

Caitlin Carroll
5 min readJan 28, 2019

We live in an era of Christianity where many things in culture are labeled “ungodly.” For example, transgender people are told they are living in an “ungodly” manner by denying their createdness. For those that know me, and follow me, you will easily know I believe being transgender is divine, and are blossoming into our gender identity is actually intrinsic to who we are but more on that later. Another example of things being “ungodly” to some are drinking, tattoos, voting democrat, being in a gay relationship and more.

Religious systems have always been tied to this idea of merit based salvation. It has become a prevalent theological view of both Catholics and Protestants, and it argues that we earn merit through grace but must also have a certain degree of good works to accompany our salvation. In Jesus’ time there was still a split jury on the after-life with some Jews not believing it existed, and others staunchly in favor of it. This was why the Pharisees were so obsessed with actions, intentions, dress codes, and moral codes. For them they wanted to have a rule system that could check their “sinfulness” and help them measure their own lives so they could inherit blessed salvation, and not eternal punishment. However, it was this group that came the majority. And as leaders they themselves then would also be the judge and jury over other Jews in their community, at the Temple, and while they were out and about. Pharisees like Jesus were rabbis that traveled and taught as well, which is why we see the constant dialogue between the two.

When Jesus finally and triumphantly enters Jerusalem he his heralded as a the King of the Jews, the Hosanna, the anointed savior. He is lauded mostly by those that the Temple system, and Pharisees had deemed unclean. For example during Jesus’ itinerant ministry he had included in his followers these groups of people, a member of an ex-assassin end of days cult, a few tax collector, a man possessed by hundreds of “demons”, a woman caught in the act of adultery, a gay Roman commander and his lover, Samaritans (hated for their ethnicity and religious practices), unmarried women, and sex workers. Now this is my Jesus, the one who came for the people spit on, and hated by the world and the religious elitists. Unfortunately, we don’t see this truly depicted in church stories, kid’s coloring sheets, or in many sermons…

Caitlin Carroll

Just a woman writing poetry, and stories on LGBTQ+ history and experiences.