Thursday, June 24, 2010

Don't Be Surprised

“Don’t be surprised when they hate you,” Jesus told his disciples.

Who hated Jesus the most? Those who were in positions of religious power were the most hateful. The government establishment was indifferent. They were more concerned with keeping the peace, and if that meant allowing the religious crowd to kill off some rebel rouser then so be it. Those in control cannot be bothered by Love. Love has no place in the halls of power, whether it is in the halls of religious power or political power.

The religious leaders in Jesus day were self-righteous in their own eyes, but they sought to have Jesus executed using lies. They were so “righteous” that they wouldn’t enter Pilate’s house in order to not defile themselves because of the Passover, but they were willing to lie and bribe in order to have an innocent man executed to save their power. (John 18:28)

Jesus is the King of kings, but it has nothing to do with political power. Jesus once said they knew “the letter of the law, but didn’t know the Spirit behind the law.”

Why did the religious leaders despise Jesus? Jesus was taking away their power over the people. They were losing their control. When they lost control, the political authorities would come down on them, or their positions of authority would be questioned. When it finally came down to it, the religious leaders and their minions declared, “We have no king but Caesar.” Hmm. (John 19:15)

I heard a Jewish story once about after the Jewish people finished crossing over the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s troops were drowned, the Jewish refugees were cheering and dancing over the troop deaths. God looked down on His people and scolded them. He told them, “Don’t be cheering and dancing over their deaths. Don’t you realize I love them too?” (Proverbs 24:17 “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles”)

Some people look at ‘being hated for Christ’ as a badge of honor. I believe Jesus mourns over everyone who dies without Him. His heart breaks for all who hate Him. He wasn’t telling us that we should be proud of being hated for His name sake; He was letting us know not to be surprised. Because, sometimes people who don’t take sides are simply trying to love each side of an argument are usually hated by both sides because they don’t take a side.

But, these people who are quote, unquote hated for Christ, are they really ‘hated for Christ’s sake,” or are they just hated because they are jerks? Are these same people willing to go the extra mile for those who are the least of these or do they feel justified claiming that “they got what they deserved?” Are we willing to love those who laugh at us, or are we content to just claim martyrdom?

We need to ask ourselves are we trying to love people for Christ whether they like us or not, or are we just wanting to win an argument because it makes us feel superior? Are we being hated because we simply want to love people and try to share Christ or because we are arrogant and self-righteous?

Jesus was hated by the religious community because he was “a friend of sinners and publicans.” I hope I can be hated for the same reasons.


welcome to my world of poetry said...

A good point there.


Louisiana Belle said...

Glen, you put that very well. So true. You always nail it. :)

DJ GlenMC said...

Thank you ladies. Just trying to navigate the waters of life by drinking from the Living Water.
So many people. So little time. So few harvesters. So many trying to be in control. So few relying on the Holy Spirit. May we all rest in His grace and mercy and love and share Him with others.

Be blessed. Be a blessing.
I Loves me some Pink Floyd, but I loves Jesus the most.

Bud Ezekiel H. said...

very, very good! but even i have to admit that there's been few in my life that i wasn't crying when they met.....

it's difficult sometimes. it's the "love factor" again.

DJ GlenMC said...

Yes it is difficult. Hench, Jesus' death on the cross. Love goes beyond self. I'm just as guilty of thinking "he deserved it."
My post was originally going to be called, God Takes No Pleasure in the Death of the Wicked. Sometimes it is necessary though. Pharaoh's army. Goliath. Love makes hard choices.
Be blessed. Be a blessing.

arlee bird said...

This is a mistake--a sin-- that I often fall to. There always has to be winners and losers but I guess I don't to be all happy when those who are against God lose. I just need to learn to keep my eyes on the prize and my mind focused upon God.

Tossing It Out

DJ GlenMC said...

I believe that God's concern is that someone who is against Him has fallen away. It's not God's will that any should perish.
Jesus wasn't happy when He had to rebuke the religious people.
I'm guilty of smirking when someone I think deserves to get smacked down does. Doesn't make it right. But God doesn't stop loving me because I did. May we learn to pray for our enemies.
Be blessed. Be a blessing.