I was reading this morning from the middle verses of John 7. The people of Jerusalem are marveling at Jesus' teachings. John combines their interest in Jesus with the continual threats to Jesus' life. The people wonder why those in authority would want to kill Jesus.
And why would they?
In Dostoevsky's book, The Brothers Karamazov, one brother tells the pious brother a tell in which the priest finds Satan beaten and dying. Realizing that he has the chance to finish Satan off, he is warned by Satan what that would mean. He reminds the priest that so much of his own life is built upon waging war with Satan. Where would his life be - where would the life of the Church be - if Satan were no more. The priest takes Satan and nurses him back to health.
Why would he do that?
Sometimes it is easier to NOT be something that to BE something. Sometimes it is easier to speak of what we are to avoid, rather than focus on what we are to do. Rather than concentrate on the life to which God is calling us, we shout loudly against a life we are to avoid.
Those who called for Jesus' death were those who had devoted their lives to the prohibitions of the law. They weren't sure how to handle someone who focused on the prescriptions of God. It is easier to fight against the Devil than it is to to fight for the good.