What is Said About You
In reading the first few chapters of the book of John, I realized that John gets to the punchline pretty quickly – spiritually and faith based speaking. In John 2:22 he shares, ‘When therefore he was risen fro the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had said.’
What Did Jesus Say About Himself
In John 2, Jesus said, ‘destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ In John 3 Jesus called himself ‘the Son of man’, ‘only begotten Son of God’, ….and He identified Himself as one with God – the trinity – God himself.
There Were Two Groups of People Who Described Jesus
Those who believed Jesus was the Son of God…although it took time for them to fully understand and to make the connection of just who He was…remember when Jesus rose again then they believed not only Jesus’ words but the Scriptures which spoke of Him and pointed toward Him.
The others were the ones who despised Jesus. They also followed Him as he traveled. Their motive was not to listen or to learn, but to discredit. Ultimately, we know, they wanted Him destroyed.
There’s No Difference for Us
In this world we have two sets of people in our lives. Those who are for us and those who are against us. I have lived through periods of time when people who were ‘against me’ tried very hard to malign me and to discredit me. How do we handle them and those situations….
How Jesus Handled Those Who Opposed Him
A good example can be found in Luke 6:1-11. Here on a sabbath day Jesus’ disciples went through a corn field, picked the corn and ate as they traveled. Remember, they were being followed. The Pharisees saw this as an opportunity for accusation. Jesus answered them with Scripture recalling how it was recorded that David and his men when hungry ate the food in the temple. Then he reminded the Pharisees just who He was – the LORD of the sabbath.
On another occasion – same passage – on a sabbath Jesus healed a man. The scribes and the Pharisees ‘closely watched’ Him and then accused Him again. Then he asked them, ‘Is it lawful on a the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life or to destroy it?’
How should we handle opposition?
Jesus didn’t display anger. Jesus knew their hearts and simply pointed them back to the truth that they were supposed to know. Jesus demonstrated patience and love toward all. He not only came to this world to save those who would choose Him – he also came for those who would oppose him and those who would oppose you. All means all. Everyone has the opportunity to make a decision.
So, as we walk through our life we should remember that ‘that’s what lost people do’. You have found the light, you have found the truth – and you believe. Those who oppose you are ultimately opposing themselves – they haven’t seen nor believed the Light. So, do what you’re here to do. Act kindly and appropriately in all situations. Every situation doesn’t need a response. The best thing we can do for them is to pray for them and not ‘return evil for evil’. Some may continue watching and perhaps see the Light of God in you and want it for themselves. Others will be like those Pharisees – they’ll never believe. But in the end, their opposition to Jesus was their opposition to the God they said they believed and served and to themselves.
We have to have eternity in mind. This life is not it! This life is our opportunity to shine and to be fruitful. So, don’t let those who oppose you get you discouraged or distracted. Keep your eyes on Jesus, read His word, pray and live each day to the best of your ability – with love and kindness towards all.