Monday, October 16, 2017
I work with youth who have many reasons to be disaffected and to have a very poor self-esteem. These youth, like many of us, have had some disappointments, been abandoned, seen the dark side of humanity, etc.
But one day, as I was wallowing in self pity, I began to think of all the reasons Jesus could have been excused for living a mediocre or futile life.
Think about it: He was born in a barn. We might romanticize the “creche”and imagine quaint manger scenes, but He was born in a place fit for animals—not a human baby. Dust, flies, manure, the stench of the animals—-this was His first “baby picture”. A child born in those conditions today would be rescued from the parents and placed under the care of social services!
Later he lost His adopted father, Joseph: at an early age. This surely would have been another reason for some emotional scarring. When He began His ministry, His own cousin, who knew that Jesus was God’s anointed, later again asked Jesus, “are you really the “One”? That must have been disappointing to Jesus that His own cousin was unsure. Later His own brothers doubted His divinity—-His own flesh and blood!
His closest friends abandoned Him when things got tough, His best friend did not come to His defense, none of the thousands that saw Him perform miracle after miracle stood with Him at the end.
The Man did great things—selfless things—and was routinely called names, insulted, threatened and accused of misrepresenting God! Throughout His adulthood He owned no home, and had only the clothes on His back to call His own. People used Him, attempted to trap Him, laughed at Him and ridiculed him and hoped for his death. Did ever a man have reason to wonder if God was pleased with Him!?
And yet He never returned insult for insult; He never blamed others for His life or His choices; He never stopped trusting in God; He never became bitter towards humanity; He never doubted Himself. He was certain, confident, firmly planted and absolutely aware that God would be glorified if He was obedient to His purpose and call.
Ah—-the peace and joy that envelopes us when we knew of whom we believe and are 100% persuaded that He is in control. Jesus knew peace and joy. Oh that I might fully enjoy the same.