Jesus obviously had very strong beliefs for He was willing to die than deny accusations. Jesus could have avoided His crucifixion by the authorities if He had only denied being the so-called Messiah. But, one would be hard pressed to determine any consistency in Jesus’ interactions with others that insisted on any litmus test of beliefs. Even Jesus twelve disciples, who were His most loyal followers, were not rejected for teetering back and forth in their beliefs about Jesus.
Jesus had every right to be upset with lots of folks. He performed miracles and people still didn’t believe. Under dire circumstances Jesus showed tremendous patience except for religious leaders who claimed to represent God. Their emphasis on adherence to certain beliefs to gain God’s approval was making religion self-serving rather than self-sacrificing. Jesus reprimanded the Pharisees for demanding God required certain beliefs to be in good standing. A focus on beliefs than actions is misleading us what changes God desires the most for a better world.
One might speculate that one reason the Pharisees stressed the importance of certain beliefs was to keep them overseers and in power. I do not know the motives of all religious leaders today, but establishing certain beliefs gives churches an identity that pays the bills. Part of the challenge is that people demand leaders establish certain traditions or customs for their own comfort levels. People often vote for certain presidential candidates because a candidate implies there are easy beliefs to complicated world problems. We often get what we deserve.
One would be hard pressed to see one single belief that Jesus insisted upon that religions focus on today. Jesus didn’t push baptism with all those He interacted with. Jesus didn’t insist people call him God or believe He was son of God, though He never denied being the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. Jesus didn’t say all divorces are wrong or take a stance on same sex marriages. Jesus focused on changing the world by loving a neighbor like you want to be loved. This often requires going the extra mile since we and those we interact with don’t always act lovable. Anyone can love the lovable.
Jesus’ main concern was behaviors that hurt us individually or violate the rights of others. Religious leaders in biblical times and now, who focus on certain sacred beliefs, distract people from focusing on why Jesus came. Jesus’ only sacred belief was that our Creator loves and forgives us in hopes to inspire us to act the same toward others. Jesus taught God seeks to empower us toward a life of doing good and shunning evil. Jesus came to dispel any preconceived notions about God other than God desires a relationship so no matter our situation we don’t lose hope in being the kind of people we ought. Any other beliefs are between God and those who value God’s message.