The gospel account clearly shows the contrast or more like a war between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day, the powers that be, the recognized authority of Jerusalem.There are several reasons for this condition of the hearts of those in upper crust positions.
Their arrogance and personal pursuits were threatened by Jesus' example of humility and disinterested motives. He had laid down all and any mentality of esteem seeking and personal applause which was an opposite mind/heart set compared to the carnal leadership He confronted.
His very presence, without a word spoken, would bring immediate conviction, envy, and fear upon those whose hearts were 'far from God'. It would get so bad that those under the conviction sought comfort in numbers of the same ilk in order to 'sooth the savage breast' of discomfort. This, in turn, led to a debate over how to rid themselves of this 'disrupter' of their little self centered kingdom. The rest of the story you know.
It's all about flesh vs. spirit. Man's intentions vs. God's intentions.
There has always been this conflict of the ages, this 'war of the worlds', God's kingdom vs. satan's kingdom. A clash of ideologies, perspectives, intents, attitudes. A clash of righteousness vs. evil, humility vs. pride.
This war continues unabated unto this very hour but not where you think. It is right square in the middle of His 'church'! Jesus lives this same scenario out millions of times over through His children, the ones who 'make a clean break'. The ones who clearly demonstrate a total 'sell out' committment to Christ when they discover the 'Pearl of great price'. This conflict and abrasive condition will always be in play when the fleshly traditions of man are confronted with the pure simple, uncompromising gospel that is fully birthed in the heart of a follower 'of the Way'.
Much of this is due to the fact that traditions and positions that were never ordained of God tend to feed and pamper the 'flesh', the 'old man' as it were, and has no real power in and of itself to help in the 'putting away' of that 'old man', but on the contrary, it tends to solidify and entrench the 'old man' in its new found position and quest. In a word, it left one arrogant world behind only to discover another arrogant world bristling with grandeur possibilities.
This is the problem in a nut shell with modern christendom. Need I say that this very conflict is what the word warned us about when it was written 'quench not the Spirit of Christ'.
Now the majority of those that come to Jesus for salvation do not ever realize the full extent of this condition for one reason. The depth of their surrender left somewhat to be desired. To those whom 'much has been forgiven' seem to be the ones who fall under this weighty configuration, but not all. Much depends on the original 'tenderness of the heart' of the individual. But mainly, it depends again on the depth of repentance and the forsaking of the world.
This is the heart condition God is looking for, what He desires, the fertile ground that He can plant His 'stuff' in. Revelation, anointing, burden. A house cleared out and then filled with the right substance.
Look out. Here it comes. Those that hold this upper class position of leadership, and remember, God didn't set it up this way, end up having 'a real problem with this character', the one who has fallen head over heals in love with you know Who!
Let's take a look. This new convert has lost all interest in the world and its allurements and things. Not so with those in leadership. This new convert has lost all desire for mammon[money]. Not so with the leadership. This convert has a broken and contrite spirit and heart before the Lord, any little offence he is guilty of crushes him. Not so with the leadership. This new convert has an almost over-whelming burden for the lost and dying. Not so with the leadership. This new convert graduates some in the spirit and God begins to anoint him with the Holy Spirit with some broader callings. Here's where it can get real ugly. The leadership now feels threatened and jealous for afterall, he is the one who holds the power and keys to heaven, he is God's chosen to stand as mediator between God and the laity, he is the leader, shaker and mover, the 'anointed of God'. Others may see this anointed calling begin to bear fruit in this 'other guy' and begin to follow him or look to him for spiritual ministry....God forbid....and so he does, the leader that is, to forbid this broken, humbled servant of the most High from ever realizing their gift. He is stopped in his tracks, never allowed to fulfill the calling God has burning in his breast. Oh maybe a nominal crack at the pulpit once in a great while for appearances sake but this sold out saint must be ever content in the back of the bus...indefinitely!
This is the plight of religion and the spirits it spawns. Many a carnal man/woman[with money] can catapult to the top of the ekklesiastical heap with ease and unruffled feathers without ever making a deep committment to Christ but God help the child of God that 'dares surrender all'! His life and walk on this planet will be of a different nature, a trail of tears, rejection and loneliness await him but so does the 'stuff' that makes for true men of God. So the choice is up to the individual. God leaves that in our care. Sail to the top in the 'Harlot church', long on recognition and success and short on God or refuse the obvious compromise and esteem the 'reproach of Christ' out-side the city your true treasure and delight! The first will avail you nothing of any eternal value, the second will avail you everything God deems as neccessary.
So the pharisees hated Christ. Not much has really changed. If this same Christ be in you, is it any wonder they hate you to?
Anything 'of this world' will hate anything that is 'of Christ'. Anything 'patterned after the world' will hate even the more.
The next step...'love them that hate you and do all manner of evil against you'. Here's where the rubber meets the road.