Monday, February 24, 2014

They hated Me without reason!

 “They hated me without reason" (John 15:25); "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" (John 10:31).

There is a Murphy's Law that says, "No good deed goes unpunished." Jesus was crucified for His love and troubles, so we shouldn't wonder if someone forgets to show gratitude or, worse yet, misinterprets our kindness.

The Creator is the Causeless Cause, but the world has its causeless causes for hating. Joseph's brothers hated him because their father loved him; Cain hated Abel enough to kill him because Abel's sacrifice was more acceptable; Saul hated David because of David's goodness; Esau hated Jacob because of the lost blessing (which was a tradeoff, anyway; Esau asked a question many ask at sometime in life, "What good is the birthright to me?"). The causeless causes go on and on.

There was absolutely no justification for the hate and belligerence toward this Man of peace who gave only tenderness and service. "For which of you stone me? For the miracles of healing? For saving you and not Myself? For My truth? For simplifying your laws? For being born in a manger instead of a mansion? For being a carpenter instead of an architect? For making your darkness light and making your burdens lighter? For forgiving your ignorance? To die that sinners might live? Tell Me, for which of these do you hate Me?"

Is the lesson we learn here that man just naturally hates goodness? Is it that we are so blinded from the darkness that we cannot stand the Light? Pitiful! What may be worse than hating Him is to ignore Him. Indifference must hurt Jesus even more than outright hate: "Because you are lukewarm -- neither hot nor cold -- I am about to spit you out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:16). He would rather we have a backbone of endurance and a jawbone of profession than be of none effect at all. And one sure sign of effectiveness is: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first" (John 15:18). "As he is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17 RSV).
Patricia Erwin Nordman

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