Saturday, March 31, 2018


We are living in a world where bullying is almost constantly in the news. A world where we think it is just kids on a playground teasing each other. A world where on a "good" day it is "just" words and not fists....or guns. A world where social media can sing your good graces or broadcast your greatest failure instantly to millions of people. A world where it is not just children picking on each other.

One might think that bullying is a new trend or maybe we just hear about it more frequently. Bullying takes on many forms and there is even an instance of it in the Bible.

Jesus came as a teacher, a prophet, a teller of stories that had a deeper meaning and as a leader of twelve disciples that were hand-picked by him. He went into towns and did miracles of feeding thousands of people with only a small amount of food available. He healed people who had been sick for YEARS just by their asking....or touching his robe. He raised his friend from the dead 4 DAYS after he had died. People saw miracles. People wanted Jesus to be a King.

They gave him a parade as he entered town:

John 12:13 (NLT) took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted,
“Praise God!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hail to the King of Israel!”

However, when someone starts to get a following, there are also those that are not happy with how things are turning out. Maybe that someone is trying to take away their perceived power. Maybe it is "just" as simple as they feel threatened.

In this case, the "they" are the religious leaders at the time. Jesus was cutting in on their gig. He wasn't letting them get away being as holy as they let on. It sounds like they wanted people to act one way while they went on acting holier than thou and making new rules for others to follow that they usually were not following themselves.

They tried to trick Jesus into answering questions in a way that they felt justified their dissatisfaction. When Jesus would question them back, they knew how popular he was becoming and that they were losing ground.

They finally had enough and found a way to get him in front of a governor and demanded the death penalty by crucifixion. The governor wasn't having it. He declared Jesus not guilty. He said he would have Jesus whipped and let go. He sent Jesus to Herod. Also, not guilty. They put Jesus on trial and He did not give them the answers they wanted. In fact, most of the time, he was silent, said "you have said", or questioned them back which made the leaders more angry. They finally nailed him by having others state that Jesus had said he was the son of God.

Then things got even more ugly and it is obvious that bullying is not a new practice.

Matthew 26:67-68 (NLT) Then they began to spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him, jeering, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who hit you that time?”

Matthew 27:27-31 Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

Matthew 27:37 A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

Matthew 27:39-44 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way. 

Those that were chanting "crown Him!" and waved palm branches when He rode into town were the same ones yelling "crucify Him!" as they watched nails being driven above the palms of His hands. The same hands that would have been so willing.....that still willing to grab on to ours. No matter where we are in life. No matter what we have done. He is willing and able to be our King.

John 14:27-29 (NLT) “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.

Thankfully, that wasn't the end of the story......

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