Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Reflecting on Jesus

The Bible records fascinating facts about Jesus and His time on earth. Among those fascinating facts is the contrast between what Jesus did and how the world treated Him.

Over and over, the Bible describes the acts of compassion Jesus performed. He miraculously healed the sick, the lame, and the blind. He cleansed disintegrating bodies of leprosy. He multiplied five loaves of bread and two fish sufficiently to feed 5,000 people at one sitting. He even brought the dead back to life and presented them to their loved ones!

With all this obvious love and compassion backed by divine power, Jesus should have been the undisputed hero of Israel. But how did the world respond? They killed him.

You see, it wasn't enough that Jesus loved people. It wasn't enough that He cared and bestowed divine healing on them. Along with His acts of healing came His teaching, and He authoritatively spoke the words of God. He called sin what it is. He had no stomach for religious hypocrisy. He single-handedly drove out of the temple the money changers and vendors who were more interested in profiting off worshipers than in living for God. He said bluntly to religious leaders, "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires" (John 8:44). And for such things the world crucified Him. Oh sure, not everyone hated Jesus. His disciples loved Him. Others remained faithful, too. But those with the louder mouths and angriest hearts definitely hated Him and nailed Him to a Cross.

No surprise, of course. When his own half-brothers did not believe in Him, Jesus told them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil" (John 7:6-7). The Lord Jesus knew in advance how and when He would die. But He allowed it to happen in order to provide a way of salvation for all who believed in Him (John 3:16).

If Jesus were to come today, performing miracles but also teaching the word and will of God, would the modern, "tolerant" world treat Him any differently? I think not. In fact, I suspect the modern world would waste no time in branding the Son of God as a hate monger and trying to shut Him down ASAP. 

Christians (that is, true followers of Christ who live according to His will, not those who simply wear the Christian label to be respectable) will always be maligned in this current world. Their words will be twisted as in Bible times, and they will be slandered and threatened for their beliefs. But the Bible is filled with examples of God's using the minority who love Him to do His work. Being in the minority is not bad--especially when the minority stands with the Creator of the universe.

Another plus--The Bible has a final chapter. God wins. The King of kings will reign forever!

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