Why We Don’t Burn Down Things When Jesus Is Mocked

Matthew 26:47-54 (HCSB)
47 While He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. A large mob, with swords and clubs, was with him from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 His betrayer had given them a sign: “The One I kiss, He’s the One; arrest Him!”  49 So he went right up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.  50 “Friend,” Jesus asked him, “why have you come?” Then they came up, took hold of Jesus, and arrested Him.   51 At that moment one of those with Jesus reached out his hand and drew his sword. He struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his ear.  52 Then Jesus told him, “Put your sword back in its place because all who take up a sword will perish by a sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot call on My Father, and He will provide Me at once with more than 12 legions of angels? 54 How, then, would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?”

Watch TV and you’ll hear the Name of God the Father and God the Son mocked, used in vain, used to curse, and many other ways that deny the holiness, beauty, majesty, power, glory, and wonder of who He is.  Watch movies and listen to music and you’ll find the same things.  In fact, go out into the marketplace and you’ll hear these same abuses of the beautiful Name of our Savior.  And yet, short of boycotting some products or writing letters/emails or phoning TV stations or sending petitions, you’ll not really see any other visible demonstration of outrage from Christians.

And yet, throughout the world we see angry people causing all manner of evil due to the denigration of the name of their prophet.  What’s the difference?  Why don’t Christians burn down things when Jesus is mocked?  Just a few thoughts…

1. There is coming a day when Jesus will make all things right and all who were mockers of His Name will bow at His Name and confess He is Lord.  There is a sense in which I don’t have to defend the honor of Jesus’ Name…He’s quite capable of defending Himself, thank you.  And on that day when every tongue confesses that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father, the mockers will be put to shame for eternity.  I might be angry for a day.  The wrath of God will be poured out for eternity.

2. When the Name of Jesus is mocked, every Christian should remember that he once mocked Jesus, too.  We were all by nature children of wrath fully deserving the full wrath of God.  And yet our God showed us mercy and grace through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  While fully responsible for actions, we were acting in ignorance according to our natures.  But when God said, “Let there be light” in our hearts, we saw for the first time the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  We then saw our sin for what it was and the beauty of Christ for who He is and we repented and trusted in the finished work of Jesus to save us.  So, instead of burning things up when others mock Jesus, we show patience knowing the Savior was patient with us.

3. Which leads us to the work we should do now.  Instead of burning things up, we warn and plead with those who mock the Savior to repent of their sin and turn to Christ.  If we truly love Christ, we will love making much of Him to sinners knowing He came to save sinners.  Because we have been forgiven much, we will want others to know of the beauty of His grace poured out on sinners.  We will warn these mockers of the fire of hell which will never die out.  The work we do isn’t to defend the honor of His Name but to herald His Name as we seek reconciliation between God and man through the preaching of the gospel.

4.  All of this reminds us that Jesus is the living, resurrected Lord.  Jesus continues to be at work even today, right now.  The Holy Spirit works through us as we make much of Jesus who is risen from the dead.  We have a story to tell.  Jesus is coming again and will make all things right.  We don’t have to defend the honor of a dead man…He’s alive!

I pray that those who feel the need to defend the name and honor of a dead man will see the glory of the true and living Lord who has made a way of escape from the wrath of God through His death and resurrection.  Let us pray that their blinded eyes will be opened to the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life who is the only way to the true Father of all.

33 thoughts on “Why We Don’t Burn Down Things When Jesus Is Mocked

  1. loura nugent September 18, 2012 / 5:35 pm

    Thank you for your words of wisdom, reason & logic. We need to to be reminded that our God is able to defend HImself even as we proclaim His Name and message with respect. At the same time, let us pray for those who are in harm’s way as these riots & demonstrations boil up.

    • Mike Lee September 18, 2012 / 5:58 pm

      We are praying. Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. Steve Martin September 19, 2012 / 5:36 am

    Great post!

    We are to love our enemies, not to be angry with them and murder them.

    Islamists ought take note and repent.

    Thanks, very much.

  3. Don September 19, 2012 / 9:24 am

    Reblogged this on One Bondservant's Diary and commented:
    Amen & Amen. We don’t burn their sacred text when mocked or maligned. We turn the other cheek and pray for their salvation.

  4. andrewcenci September 19, 2012 / 9:44 am

    Awesome stuff.

  5. Derek Rishmawy September 19, 2012 / 9:53 am

    Great piece. Having the logic of Christian calm in the face of blasphemy is a great reminder of the Gospel. Christ didn’t answer the spitting and the mocking from the Cross. He let the Father vindicate his name by emerging victorious from the tomb.

  6. Benji Thomas September 19, 2012 / 10:24 am

    Thanks so much Mike. I’m sharing this with some of my church members.

  7. Polly Burroughs September 19, 2012 / 11:39 am

    “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Read Romans 12:14-21.

  8. firstofthree September 19, 2012 / 1:35 pm

    Thanks so much for an excellent post.

  9. James Bradshaw September 19, 2012 / 3:47 pm

    People are less often mocking God than mocking those who claim to follow Him and speak in His name.

    Further, people are often mocking interpretations of God (or theologies). Have you ever poked fun at Catholicism, Pentecostals or Word of Faith believers? Despite your inability to believe these creeds, they are nonetheless sacred to others, no?

    It’s actually quite rare to see someone “mocking God”.

    • Andrew K. September 19, 2012 / 6:11 pm

      My first reaction was to disagree; but on reflection, there may be something to what you say.

      I remember reading an interview with the Monty Python crew over the film “The Life of Bryan.” From what I recall, the original intent was to mock Jesus.

      When they began to develop the material, however, the troupe became aware of something: Jesus wasn’t funny. There was nothing particularly funny or amusing about Jesus, in either what he said or what he did. So they went with creating a film that mocked and satirized the church instead.

  10. Becky September 19, 2012 / 4:07 pm

    Excellent. Thank you.

  11. Chad Smith September 19, 2012 / 4:10 pm

    Reblogged this on Midwest District Blog and commented:
    When I heard yesterday some guys were suggesting there was a Mrs. Jesus, it never crossed my mind to head to the nearest embassy. Why is that? Below are four good reasons.

  12. WhyWaste September 19, 2012 / 4:44 pm

    Religion is poison!

    • Margaret September 21, 2012 / 4:12 pm

      Yes. But faith in a living, loving God is a fountain of LIFE!

    • Mike Lee September 19, 2012 / 4:51 pm

      I think that depends on how religion is defined.

  13. Rev. Bill D. Kruger September 20, 2012 / 12:02 pm

    Reblogged this on SODEGLO and commented:
    In light of the rioting and chaos around the world Mike Lee presents some very helpful reminders for Christ followers.

  14. Margaret September 21, 2012 / 4:18 pm

    Well said, Mike!

  15. kamal September 27, 2012 / 12:07 pm

    Because you do not care, you are not a true belivers.

    you choose to laugh and ignore it. and this show how much you love jesus.

    you do not even do stuf taht jesus used to do ( fasting, praying, not eating pork, not gamble…etc)

    • Mike Lee September 27, 2012 / 2:46 pm

      Thanks Kamal. We believe that we are primarily heralds of the message of our Lord Jesus Christ. He does the work of opening minds to see the truth of the Bible. Our love for Jesus isn’t shown by burning things down, but by obedience to what He has commanded in the Bible. Jesus tells us that no one comes to the Father but through Him and that we are to tell others this truth. In Acts 10:9-16, Jesus tells Peter that it is okay to eat unclean animals, including pork. And Christians do pray, do fast, and do many other things that Jesus did and tells us to do. So yes, we do care. But we show how we care according to the teachings of Jesus in the Bible, not according to what others think we should do.

  16. lovebloodsun October 5, 2012 / 4:28 pm

    Thank you for your words of encouragement. It really encouraged me. I did what you said. I wrote gentle emails, letters just so His name would be raised in a holy way and not dragged in the dirt, but He is alive and can and will defend His glory and name. Thank you again. I need to be more prayerful towards those who soil His beautiful name.

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