Thursday, June 19, 2014

Whatever they wanted

Mark 14:65, 14:71, 15:19

Then some began to spit at Him; they blindfolded Him, struck Him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took Him and beat Him...He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this Man you’re talking about...Again and again they struck Him on the head with a staff and spit on Him...

Q: What do the 71 of the wisest and most respected Jewish priests and scribes in the nation, the Roman guard of governor Pontius Pilate, and one of Jesus' dearest friends have in common?

A: They did whatever they wanted to Jesus.

Reading this story again this week, I am amazed by the fact that Jesus, God's perfect and powerful Son, allowed these people to treat Him however they wanted.  Not only did the Roman guard torture Jesus, but the leaders of His nation, the Jews, did not believe Him and beat Him.  Worse, His loyal followers abandoned Him.  His dear friend Peter cursed and denied knowing Him.

More amazing is Jesus allowed it.  Jesus could have called upon His legions of angels and protected Himself, showed Himself as the Christ in an unmistakable, miraculous demonstration of power, or smote those who hurt and mocked Him with fire from heaven. But He did not. 

Jesus allows us to do the same thing.  He allows us all to treat Him as we want. We choose everyday to devote ourselves to Jesus, or ignore Him. To trust His wisdom and love for us and obey Him, or go our own way. To be kind to His beloved children, or to mistreat them. I think Jesus does this because He does not want to force Himself on us, He wants us to freely love Him in return and trust Him. 

So I ask myself the questions: Do I judge His actions in the world? Do I give Him the sacrifice of my praise? Do I talk to Him often in prayer? Do I trust Him with my everyday life? Do I share Him with my friends? Do I serve His beloved children in this world? 

Do you? In what areas of your life can you treat Him better?

Father, it is so easy to get caught up in the world as Peter did, even though I believe in You and love You. Life happens around me and I ignore You or deny You. Forgive me! Remind me of Your presence, Your love, Your wisdom and power. As I strive to read Your Word, Your love letter to me, and gather with Your people, You remind me. Thank You for always drawing me back home to You even when the world has soiled me. You are so good. Your mercies are new every morning.

Remind us that some day You will come as the powerful Judge and conquering King. When You do, I want to be counted as Yours.

Again the high priest asked Him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”