Although Jesus was not confrontational merely for the sake of confrontation, his teaching nevertheless caused much consternation among his listeners. His mere presence stirred up strong emotion. He said at one point, “I provoke hatred because I show the world how evil its deeds really are.” The Good Shepherd had appeared, but they said, “He is leading people astray.” To the One who cast out devils they said, “You have a demon!” Speaking of the Son of God who taught the very words of the Father, the religious leaders said, “Only foolish people who are already damned listen to this imposter.” And Jesus tells us, “If they did these things to me don’t be surprised if they do them to you.”
Jesus was (and is) reality. And when reality “shows up” mere concepts of reality are exposed for the facades they actually are. The presence of Truth provokes, divides, loves, heals and brings liberty- all at the same time. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day said, “We know God!” Jesus’ presence exposed the reality of their situation. ” You don’t really know him.” he said. “If you did, you would recognize me .” The Truth exposed their hypocrisy, and they hated him for it. “Don’t be surprised if they do the same to you.”
We are living in a day in which authentic Christianity will put you at odds with the mainstream. Really, it always has. We in America have had it so easy for so long, and I believe we are beginning to see that the jig is up. From now on, truly following Jesus is going to cost us. We will experience increasing rejection, estrangement from “church” friends and perhaps even physical persecution in the days to come. Jesus told us that it would be this way. “Don’t be surprised if they do the same to you.”
I’ll leave you with this:
“After their release the apostles went back to their friends and reported to them what the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard it they raised their voices to God in united prayer and said, ‘Lord, you are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ’. For truly against your holy servant Jesus whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered together to do whatever your hand and your purpose determined before to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to your servants that with all boldness they may speak your word, by stretching out your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’ When they had prayed their meeting-place was shaken; they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God fearlessly.”
One thought on “Don’t Be Surprised”
Thank you Kyle for keeping the truth so simple and relevant. I am so blessed and challenged by your posts!