Jesus’ Life was Not Easy By Any Stretch
I want to consider just a few examples from the life of Jesus because in these examples, my hope is that we will see how He lived and how He responded to the circumstances that life presented. Too many times, He was diametrically opposed to certain individuals that crossed His path (or in fact, they were opposed to Him), which caused not a little angst, discomfort, and even anger in Jesus.
It’s always remarkable when people talk about Jesus as being only loving. He was that, of course, but it is their definition of love that skews the whole thing. They use no logic at all because they fail to admit that true love can involve righteous anger or even an anger that stems from not wanting to see other people come to harm.
If you’ve raised children, you know what this is like. Like most parents, we also took the time to “child proof” our home. It’s an almost impossible task, but because of today’s technology and appliances, it’s necessary. No rational person would tell a one-year old to go and take a bath. It must be done for the child and with great care so that the child will not drown or become scalded by water that is too hot.
How many of us become angered when we have seen our little ones doing things that we know will only hurt them if they succeed? When I was growing up, though it was uncommon, there were times when my father and my mother felt that the best way to handle a situation involving me was with a swat to the backside. I will never forget the time my father bent me over his knee and before he paddled by rear said, “Son, I’m doing this because I love you.” Sure Dad! Righto! Of course I did not understand it then but I do now.
But Jesus – the Creator of the universe – walked among people who were not children. They were grown men and they consistently resisted His efforts to love them. Instead, they were always at odds with Him. They were too old for Jesus to put them over His knee so He had to resort to discussions and rebuffing their attempts to falsely charge, accuse, or denigrate Him. The more He rebuked them, the angrier they grew toward Him.
Think of how difficult it is for us to walk through this life in so many ways. We see what is wrong with the world while we are also dealing with the discrepancies that exist within us as Christians. We understand, at least intellectually, that we have a job to do and that job involves providing people with information so that God can open their eyes to see the truth. Once they see it, they can either reject or embrace that truth. Too many reject it, while some embrace it.
Nonetheless, we are in this world – essentially behind enemy lines – endeavoring to reach a lost world for Jesus. To do that, we must do the same thing that Jesus did, which was to make our way through all the spiritual land mines placed by Satan and his minions. Many of those land mines are in the form of people whom Satan uses to oppose the truth of the gospel. This is the sad fact of life and Satan will use those people for his ends as often as necessary. The Bible is filled with examples of this starting with the Old Testament. But we’re talking about Jesus for now, so let’s see what we can find in His life that resonates with us. How did He handle things? How did He deal with those people? It was not always dealt with in the same manner.
Oh and I would like to offer this caution: there are many things that Jesus did that we should not even try to do. We need to remember that at all times, Jesus and the Father were “one” in purpose and will. While it is helpful for us to know how Jesus responded here or there, we should not necessarily use His responses as templates for our situations. Instead, we should simply be and remain in close fellowship with God in Christ trusting Him to provide us with words and demeanor that will glorify Him. Capiche?
One of the incidents I want to look at is John 5:16-18.
16 Now because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began persecuting him. 17 So he told them, “My Father is working until now, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason the Jewish leaders were trying even harder to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was also calling God his own Father, thus making himself equal with God.
Here’s the reality. Jesus was and remains God in the flesh and because of it, those who are in the devil’s camp came out in an all-out attack against Him. John speaks to this point in his smaller epistles as well, which we’ll get to eventually in other posts.
Jesus is at odds with the religious leaders for two reasons as we learn from the above text. First, He had the nerve to heal on the Sabbath, and second, He essentially claimed to be equal with God. Rather than consider the fact that maybe Jesus actually was and remains equal with God because He is God, the religious leaders simply assumed that Jesus was not equal to God, therefore He must have been blaspheming. This resulted in the need to execute Him. Unfortunately, for the religious leaders, they had no power to crucify anyone because they were living under Roman rule. For Jesus to be crucified – a deliberately painful, humiliating, and agonizing way to die – it would have to be approved by Roman authorities. This ultimately happened with Pontius Pilate pronouncing Jesus “guilty” and handing over to Roman soldiers to be crucified.
Being a Christian often means that we – as Christ’s representatives on earth – will find ourselves in situations that might tempt us to want to “deny” who we are and our Lord. Peter did it and we can be assured that though the situation was very traumatic and emotional for him, he did not lose his salvation. Though he “denied” His Lord, he did so out of fear, but he never stopped believing in Jesus. He actually lied about knowing Jesus because He did know Him, but said he did not (John 18:15-27).
It seems that daily, Jesus faced false accusations and threats of death from unbelievers. Yet, He was not cowed to cease stating the truth. He was actually emboldened to continue to speak the truth.
Every Christian who seeks to walk with God will face trials and persecutions in this life and we will often be forced to confirm to the world that we are Christians, that we follow and serve a risen Savior and that we have a higher calling than this world can truly appreciate. If it happened to Jesus, it will most certainly happen to us. Count on it.
The only way that we will have the strength and fortitude to persevere when the world throws up roadblocks in the form of persecution is to continue to submit to God. We must determine ahead of time and continue to remain in fellowship with the Father and Jesus that we will not be cowered by the world.
If we truly love the world, we will continue to speak the truth because the truth of the gospel is what saves people. If we are cowed into silence, then we will be guilty of loving ourselves more than we love the lost. That is something we must avoid at all costs, in spite of what the world might throw at us because of the conviction of our position.
Entry filed under: christianity, eternity, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: jesus accused of blasphemy, John 18:15-27, John 5:16-18.