Friday, November 21, 2008

Good Company

If the world hates you,
know that it has hated me before
it hated you.

John 15:18

We generally don’t like people mad at us. Confronting people makes us uncomfortable and even though we may know that their behavior or attitude is wrong it is easier to avoid than to confront. Fear of their potential anger overshadows the result of their destructiveness. We hope that by ignoring the problem it will disappear.

During the months of Jesus’ ministry he increasingly experienced attacks against his character. By the third chapter in the gospel of Mark the Pharisees have joined up with their arch enemies in an attempt to destroy Jesus. They hated Jesus and that hatred was their driving force to cunningly plot his demise.

Very few of us are familiar with this level of hatred but perhaps at some level we have endured the heat of someone’s anger. Jesus was hated because he dared to confront sinful behavior. He wasn’t afraid of speaking truth and exposing actions that were performed in the dark.

As followers of Jesus Christ we too are called to confront what we know to be sinful. Whether it be in ourselves, our church, a friend we cannot be afraid to bring into the light what has lived in the dark. Hatred may be our “reward” but our strength lies in the knowledge that we are in the good company of Jesus who endured a hatred that led him to his death but also to his resurrection.

Jesus, forgive me when
I see sinful behavior and allow
it to go unchecked.
I am afraid of the anger and
hatred I might receive.
Help me to be bold in your strength

Artwork--Crucifixion: Inside View, Igor Ulanovsky, Israel, 1998.

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