Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What did Jesus get mocked for?

In Matthew 5:11, Jesus says that His followers are blessed when they are being mocked, insulted, and lied about because of their relationship with Him. Jesus states that when we are living in accord with God, then one who mocks you is doing nothing but giving you blessings and identifying your lifestyle as being in sync with God's lifestyle.

This verse is used as a rallying cry to cover all manner of sinful behavior. Far too many Christians simply go around doing whatever feels best to them, then if they are criticized, fall back upon this verse as comfort.

But let me ask: what kind of things are you being mocked for? And is it the same kind of thing that Jesus was mocked for?

Jesus was mocked for not being serious enough about His religion. He was too fun loving, too party-happy. He spent most of His time with bad people who did bad things. He made bold claims about His relationship to God. And His followers did the same things.

So is that what you are mocked for as a Christian? That you hang out with the downtrodden? That you have a good time in life but make bold claims about God and your relationship to Him?

Probably not.

Most of we American Christians are mocked because we are judgmental. Because we look down on others. Because we are always so serious. Because we are hypocrites who live like everyone else while pretending that we don't.

Do you see a problem here?

It is time that we as Christians start imitating our God. Let me give you a good example. Would Jesus have approved of gay marraige? I seriously doubt it; after all, He didn't even approve of divorce and remarriage. But do you know what I do think? I think that while He may not have supported gay marriage, Jesus wouldn't have the slightest hesitation about going out and spending an evening hanging out with a couple of gay guys, having a few drinks, telling a few stories, and building a relationship.

Sound shocking? Then re-read your Bible with fresh eyes. Who were the people Jesus hung out with? It wasn't the every-week church-goers. He spent His time surrounded by poor, coarse, illiterate fisherman; prostitutes; thieves who collected taxes for the Romans and skimmed from the top for themselves; betrayers. These were the men and women that Jesus came to save. And it was with them that He spent three and a half years in ministry. As He Himself said--physicians are here to heal the sick, not the healthy.

So before you go playing the "I'm so holy that people mock me" card, ask yourself why people are mocking you. Is it the same reason that Jesus was mocked?

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