“I don’t want you to think badly of my husband,” said a woman to me as she was preparing to tell me some unpleasant things about him.
I reassured her with these words, “Don’t worry, I can’t think worse of human nature than I already do.”
Nothing people do (including myself) surprises me. We are a bad lot. All of us. When any of us want to be offended and surprised when people think badly of us, we need to look to Jesus and calm down.
Not a single one of us has a pure heart or pure motives unless God has graciously given them to us by His Spirit.
“And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.”
“I hate all of us humans sometimes (again, myself included).”
Nothing good lives in any of us. We strut around and defend ourselves at every turn and are shocked that people judge us. When I look at Jesus and His trial, His scourging, the way He was treated, I get emotional. I hate all of us humans sometimes (again, myself included).
Jesus was the only good man to ever walk the earth.
- Good (agathos)-intrinsically good, good in nature, good whether it be seen to be so or not.
“Fake goodness doesn’t expose us. Real goodness is uncomfortable”
What happened to Jesus is a picture of how dark the human heart is. When true goodness came, the world rejected it. They preferred the fake goodness and flattery of others. Fake goodness doesn’t expose us. Real goodness is uncomfortable.
As Jesus’ fate drew near, He looked at His disciples and said, “One of you will betray me.” Judas didn’t admit it was him, he got out of Jesus’ presence quickly and ran to the chief priests. He sold Him for thirty pieces of silver. When he saw that following Jesus wasn’t going to profit him, he changed sides. It looked like the religious leaders were going to win and they did… temporarily. The kingdom we fight for and the kingdom we live in are two totally different places. To live for the Kingdom of God often means absolutely no exaltation or profit here. Jesus said to beware when all speak well of you, they spoke well of false prophets also.
“Humans live in lies and love lies”
The ruling body of the Jews (The Sanhedrin) put Jesus on trial with many false witnesses. The religious leaders, who knew the Law better than any of us ever will, put the Truth on trial and convicted Him guilty. All their witnesses made fools of themselves because they couldn’t agree in their lies. Jesus finally had to speak up so they would have a reason to crucify Him. Funny, the truth was what finally sealed His doom. Humans live in lies and love lies.
“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.”
The high priest tore His clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard this blasphemy. What do you think? (Mark 14:61-63)
Then the book of Mark moves to Pilate. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was innocent. He was actually afraid when he looked in Jesus’ face and questioned Him. Listen to this drop the mic moment.
“Do you refuse to speak to me? Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or crucify you?”
Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” (John 19:10-11)
If nothing else in the Bible convinced me that Jesus was the Son of God, that line would. No human on the planet could stand unmoved in the face of power and say what He did. The reason I respect and obey authority as I do is because I know for a fact all authority is under my God.
“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
He turns it wherever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1)
The soldiers finally got to have the Son of God handed over to them. As I read what they did I think to myself, “It’s a good thing I’m not God, I would have busted up on all of them in about two seconds!”
Human nature again at its finest. Because He said He was a king, they put a purple robe on Him, a crown of thorns and began to mock Him. They spit on Him and struck His head that had the painful thorns on it. People wouldn’t treat a dog the way Jesus was treated.
Our nature again was on display when Jesus was crucified. People were even watching because they wanted to see Him perform a miracle. They despised Him as they cried out in derision, “He saved others, but He can’t save Himself!”
“If Jesus never did another thing other than what He did on the cross for us, it is way too much”
We are so hungry to be thrilled over being thrilled that the Son of God came and died for wretches like us. If Jesus never did another thing other than what He did on the cross for us, it is way too much. How dare we complain when things seem unfair.
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”….(Philippians 3:10)
What is our goal? We should have only one…to know Christ.
How do we get to know Him? If we are given over to that one goal, He will give us three great things.
- Resurrection power
- Truly becoming like Him (from the inside out)
The power of Christ will only be ours if we also suffer. Power alone will produce what we read about in all the above people and groups of people.
What are you going through today? Look to Jesus and say “thank you.”
In our human nature, only the fire of suffering will burn away the absolute hell that lives in every single one of us.
What are you going through today? Look to Jesus and say “thank you.” Ask Him to not let one single moment be wasted. He is making us like His Son. That is the greatest miracle that ever happens on the planet.