Sunday, July 29, 2018

Despised and Rejected

"I don't know why people don't like me? What's not to love?" Bob sat on the porch, trying to unravel the enigma of how anyone could be upset with him. "I don't know man," his friend replied "you're pretty awesome. Humble too." 

The older you get, the more you understand that some people are just not going to like you. But you also may begin to realize there are a more than a few justifiable reasons.  I'm a sinner, saved by grace. I still battle remaining sin, and will until I die, so I know I offend people. I open my mouth when I shouldn't and keep it shut when I should open it. My jokes fail. My words come out wrong and offend. My words come out right and wrongfully give offense. I'm a sinner, and I would guess that most of the times when I'm not liked, they are more than justified in their charge. 

"He is despised and rejected of men," Isaiah 53:3. But Christ was despised and rejected. Jesus was scorned by the Scribes, hated by the Pharisees, and mocked by the Romans. Why did men despise him? He healed the sick, raised the dead, and fed the hungry. The Messianic Psalm tells us Jesus delighted to do the law of God. He did not refrain himself from preaching righteousness. Jesus did not hide this truth, but declared God's faithfulness from the great congregation (Psalm 40:7-10). And he was despised. He was rejected.

For example, in Matthew 12, Jesus explains the true nature of the Sabbath Day. The Sabbath was given to man, by God, for the good of man. Only a wicked sinner and depraved heart could despise God for giving people a day off to rest. The ensured everyone got to rest their bodies from work and rest their souls by meditating on God. The Pharisees had so twisted the meaning of the Sabbath, men were in subjection to the Sabbath, rather than blessed by the Sabbath. But Jesus showed the true meaning of the law, revealed God's truth, and set men free from the bondage of legalism. Then, to illustrate the point, Jesus heals a man, demonstrating how God would have mercy and not sacrifice in these matters. How did the Pharisees react? Matthew 12:14, "Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him."

The Lord Jesus lived a sinless life. He we perfect in every action, pure in every thought. Jesus never misspoke. Jesus never lost His temper and shouted things He wished to take back. Jesus did not live with the regret of wasted words, or wasted thoughts. Every day, every moment, His live was directed to loving the Father and doing His will and loving his neighbors. He delighted to do the will of the Father. Jesus was not proud. He was not hypocritical. He always told the truth. He was never a false friend or never betrayed friend or enemy. He never disrespected Joseph or smarted off to Mary.  There was no "rebellious phase". He was compassionate to the downcast. He was kind to the unkind. He loved the unlovable. He died for His enemies and made them His friends. What a glorious Saviour! Which makes these words, which are still true, so shocking. He is despised and rejected of men.

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