Thursday, May 19, 2011

Better Than Jesus?

“Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.” John 13: 16-17

Have you ever been treated badly for being a Christian? Have you ever been made fun of or mocked for what you believe? Have you ever felt judged or condemned or betrayed for being a follower of Jesus? Not too fun, is it?

I think sometimes in these instances we wonder…why? Why am I being treated this way? Why are people “killing the messenger”? Why do I have to suffer so much humiliation? We start to wonder if we deserve it and if following Christ is worth it? But you know what? Why do we think we should be treated any better than Jesus?

If Jesus was rejected, so will we. If Jesus was betrayed, so will we. If Jesus was condemned unjustly, so will we. Ultimately when people are rejecting us or the way we live or the beliefs we hold, they are rejecting Jesus. Why are we surprised?

Most people in today’s culture want to live however they want and they don’t want anyone telling them what to do. And yet there is Truth that must be lived and proclaimed. Not to condemn people but to show people the greatness they were created for—and yes, to sometimes point out how they are living below that greatness. But people don’t like being told what to do. Do you? The hair on the back of our necks normally goes up when we feel someone thinks they know more than we do.

However, God DOES know more than we do. And He has tried to communicate what is best for us in so many different ways throughout the history of salvation, even to the point of allowing His only Son to be executed in our place. But we still sometimes miss it. The situation in our world today though, has led to the point where many people do not just view us or the Church as a nice, little side-show trapped in ignorance or naivety, but as evil; as a threat—and the biggest threat—to living how one wants to live. So despite the fact that the Church has no armies or temporal power, She is the enemy. And so as members of the Church, we too become the enemy.

Our response to this is to love, love and love some more. As Jesus did. And in return we may be mocked, judged, condemned and made to suffer in various emotional or physical ways. But why not, are we better than Jesus?

Dear Jesus, help me to love even when mocked or hurt for following You. Help me to stand up for You and for Truth with charity and to suffer any hardships that come my way with patience and perseverance as You did. Amen.

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