Monday, December 17, 2012

Haters Gonna Hate

The Scribes and Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him. Luke 6:7

We’ve all been there. There’s the kid in class that picks on us and won’t quit until they get some sort of reaction. There’s the boss or coworker that seems to live to make us miserable – pointing out every flaw they could possibly come up with; living for the moment they can watch us fall.  Many of us may even experience this within our own families and it’s definitely one of the most draining experiences we can go through.

People can often be like wolves who keep a close eye on their prey.  They look for points of weakness so they can attack, and they usually hunt in packs in order to assure success.  Many of us have faced wolf-like predators in life, our Lord certainly did.

Throughout the Gospels we see the religious people often circle Jesus, trying to trap him. They want to catch him breaking the law. And while they never catch Him breaking God’s law, they do catch Him breaking their man made rules.

In Luke 6 we see a couple of these examples. The Pharisees are so anxious to see Jesus fall that they follow Him and His disciples through the grain fields one Sabbath day.  When the disciples casually pick grain as they walk through, the Pharisees think they’ve found their issue.  But Jesus reminds them of how King David unlawfully ate the consecrated bread when he was hiding from Saul. Jesus wins that one.

The following Sabbath the Pharisees follow Jesus into the synagogue to see if they could catch Him healing. (It was the Pharisees who interpreted healing as work on the Sabbath, not God). Yes, they caught Him healing a man with a withered hand.  They were so enraged that Jesus broke their Sabbath rules that they began to plot to kill Jesus.

 Perhaps one of the most ridiculous examples of the predatory nature of Pharisees happens in Luke chapter 5. After Jesus calls Matthew to follow Him, He goes to eat at Matthew’s house with other “sinners and tax collectors.”  Though not invited, we find some Pharisees gathered at Matthew’s house accusing Jesus of being guilty by associating with people of ill repute. It’s at this point that Jesus tells them that it is not the well who need a physician, but the sick.

The Pharisees eventually win (or so they think). They accuse Jesus of blasphemy and get the Roman government to crucify Him. Of course, none of them anticipated that His death would bring about redemption for mankind, and that the name of Jesus the Christ would spread all over the world.

Next time you feel like you’re being targeted, like the wolves are encircling you and ready to attack, remember the life of Christ. The religious people were after Him and didn’t give up until His death. Today we know that with His death came a great reward – the salvation of our souls.

Scripture to Claim:
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. (1 Peter 4:12-14)

(Submitted by Caleb Lain)

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