Jesus was always dealing with religious people. But their religion didn’t look much at all like the love, joy and peace that the Scriptures describes true followers of Jesus. These religious leaders were greedy, angry, judgmental & pious (this list could certainly go on).
In one encounter with these pretentious leaders (Matthew 12), they tried to trip him up by saying that he couldn’t help a crippled man on the Sabbath (the holy day of rest). Jesus wouldn’t have any of it and reaches out and heals the man. The religious leaders are oblivious to the miracle in front of them, instead they are incensed that Jesus did such a thing on a day that was set aside for rest.Jesus slips away as these leaders begin crank the engine of “religious justice.” As he is leaving, hordes of people follow him,their eyes opened to the reality of God’s love, power and sovereignty. And the religious leaders of the day are left only with their greed, anger, judgment and piety. 
I don’t want to live my life defending a religious system. I want to be intimately aware the there is a God that loves me. That the same power that Jesus displayed that day when he reached out and healed this crippled man is available today. That the love that Jesus displayed to anyone that would truly seek him is available to me today. That’s a love worth living for every day. Even more, that’s a love worth laying down my life to follow.
In the following Scriptures, a prophecy is quoted that described Jesus hundreds of years before he ever came to live on this earth. In the final description (Matthew 12:21), it says this:
“And his name will be the hope of all the world.” 

My prayer today is that I would not be boxed into a religious system. My prayer is that I would be in relationship with Jesus. The all-powerful, all-loving, ever-compassionate savior. I pray that I would remember that every hope that I have is found satisfied in Him.
If you are searching for hope, peace, freedom & joy, I believe that every hope you’ve ever had is satisfied in Jesus. Not in religion, but in relationship with Jesus – the hope of all the world.