Psalm 70; Isaiah 50:4–9a; Hebrews 12:1–3; John 13:21–32
Taking insults is hard. Taking insults in today’s culture is reality…especially on social media. It’s not just social media, though, not by far. It is pervasive.
Isaiah faced plenty of insults. He was spat upon. People physically pulled the hair from his beard (Ouch!). He did not hide from them. Yes, we attribute these descriptions (rightly) to Jesus. They are also Isaiah. They aren’t descriptive of many Christians.
Even among Christians, the willingness (sometimes, it seems, eagerness) to verbally rip another person into shreds is appalling. The willingness to question another’s faith-based upon what you think the other person believes all too often means that a Christian has put themself in the place of God. Even Jesus avoided that while on earth. If we’re Christ-followers, we should probably do the same.
The writer of Hebrews talks about the sin that trips us up. Truthfully, much of the slander, belittling, and (well) judging falls under the simplified “don’t gossip” in regards to the Ten Commandments. It’s sinful. Before you state something about another, perhaps there out to be a litmus test that you put before God.
I’ve been party/witness to far too many statements from fellow Christians that really don’t pass my litmus test of Godly truth (and I hold my litmus test lightly). I wish taking the red or blue pill would fix the problem (an allusion to both the movie the Matrix, and the Democrat/Republican color-coding). Maybe a purple pill will fix it (purple alluding to Christ’s royalty as king).
There is no quick pill. It’s a long walk together toward the holiness and purity that is in Christ Jesus. That’s the endurance part of the run.
We will have to endure the shame for not choosing a political party first, and instead choosing Christ. Most Christians when given the choice between their political ideology and Christ will say, “Christ”, but live differently. Instead of living for Christ and eschewing politics, we choose our politics and try to shove God in the ballot box.
We condemn Judas Iscariot for selling Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver. We’ve probably sold Jesus out for a seat at the political table. Insults? You’re not a Christian if you voted for or supported __________! That’s not just judging, that is betraying Jesus.
Judas Iscariot, despite all his faults and betrayal, seems to have been a friend of Jesus. I have a hard time understanding that, too. He wasn’t one of the close ones, but that he remained for 3 years? We condemn Judas (understandably), but Jesus loved him. For that, we should be grateful.
If Jesus could love someone who betrayed him, that means he loves us, too. Jesus loves us despite our dabbling with worldly powers. Jesus loves us when we hurt fellow Christians. Jesus loves us when we drive others from his presence. Jesus loves us every time we betray him.
- Why is demeaning or belittling of other Christians bordering on a betrayal of Jesus?
- Why do we allow our politics to come between us and Jesus, and between us and other Christians?
- How can we be mutual witnesses to Jesus when our politics and even worldviews are different?
Assist us mercifully with your grace, Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the meditation of those mighty acts by which you have promised us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. [Holy Tuesday Collect, Book of Common Prayer 2019]