You know I don't have TV, haven't had it for a long time and don't watch the news. So I don't keep abreast of everything that is going on all the
time. I used to. Watch the news, listen to the news on the radio, read the newspaper, and online news sites. But I came to a certain point when I
realized that it was doing my spiritual and emotional health more harm than good. So I cut it out of my life. I am not ignorant of what is going on,
but I also am not constantly bombarded by the world's messages and what they want me to worry about all the time.
But I was at a friends house recently. He is elderly and diagnosed with dementia and needs care, so my wife and I have been providing a certain amount
of care for him on the weekends. He is old-school, has Direct TV and watches a lot of TV. While at his place I noticed the constant bombardment of
insurance commercials, prescription drug commercials, and what seem to be pure propaganda commercials. One was showing "Asian Americans' while they
sternly looked into the camera and were telling people to stop Asian hate. Is that really a thing? Or is it being manufactured to stir up feelings of
contention and distrust?
Whatever the case may be I thought of the stark contrast between the way the world deals with problems, hatred and prejudice, and the way the Christ
taught his followers to deal with it by the way he lived his life.
Jesus told his followers that they would stick out as different because they would be united by love. And that they were to show that love to the
world. This love flows from the heavenly throne of Jehovah God himself. We feel God's love for us by the fact that he sent his only-begotten son, his
very best, as a ransom for our sins so that we might have hope of everlasting life.
We feel God's love when we read his word in faith, and he communicates it with us, answering our prayers, and reassuring us with his promises.
Jesus had to deal with a society filled with prejudice and hatred. By the time he came to the earth that is what the Jewish culture had become. They
put huge importance of power, stature, your standing in society. They looked down on the illiterate, the less fortunate, the poor. They scorned
foreigners and women. In fact things were so bad in the Jewish culture that when Jesus approaches a Samaritan woman and asked her for water she was
amazed that he, a male Jew, would approach her, a female Samaritan and talk to her.:
"A woman of Sa·marʹi·a came to draw water. Jesus said to her: “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone off into the city to buy food.)
So the Sa·marʹi·tan woman said to him: “How is it that you, despite being a Jew, ask me for a drink even though I am a Sa·marʹi·tan
woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Sa·marʹi·tans.)"-John 4:7-9.
The Jews had such a hatred and prejudice against Samaritans that there was a saying that they would rather eat with the pigs than to socialize with a
Samaritan. And Jews looked down upon women in general. But Jesus did not do that way. He did not show prejudice toward people who were of a different
race or culture. And he certainly did not look down on a person because of their gender. In fact if you read the Bible account he afforded women many
special privileges he did not give the men. And he had among his followers many women whom considers him a dear friend.
For example did you know that Jesus did not openly reveal that he was the Christ, the Messiah sent by God to anyone openly before it was to this
woman? Yes, this looked down upon and prejudiced woman by the Jews received the privilege of having the Christ, the son of God reveal he was the
Messiah to her, the first person he did so to:
"The woman said to him: “I know that Mes·siʹah is coming, who is called Christ. Whenever that one comes, he will declare all things to us
openly.” Jesus said to her: “I am he, the one speaking to you.”-John 4:25, 26.
Even Jesus' apostles had the culture of being prominent, a matuistic society where being number 1 and having authority was of greatest importance, and
they often fought over who was greater. But Jesus told them:
"Moreover, do not call anyone your father on earth, for one is your Father, the heavenly One. Neither be called leaders, for your Leader is one,
the Christ. But the greatest one among you must be your minister. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be
Even on the night before he was to be put to death his apostles were arguing about who was the greatest. And Jesus instead of chiding them or scolding
them, or losing patience, he patiently gave them an abject lesson. It was the custom in those days to wash the feet of your guests. Well none of the
apostles were humble enough to wash the feet of their fellow apostles. But Jesus observing them arguing about who was the greatest among them entered
in and humbly set the example by washing their feet.
When Jesus died he did so with a quiet dignity. I really love this scripture it says:
"When he was being insulted, he did not insult in return. When he was suffering, he did not threaten, but he entrusted himself to the One who judges
righteously. 24 He himself bore our sins in his own body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live to righteousness. And “by his wounds
you were healed.”-1 Peter 2:23, 24.
You get the import of that? What does the world do these days? Isn't it all about getting revenge? Jesus was not that way. When he was insulted, when
they were mocking him at his illegal trial that he was the Christ, and they would spit in his face, or slap his face, or hit him, or mockingly say
insulting things, what did he do in turn? Did he say, "I am going to get even with you!?" No. He quietly and patiently bore the persecution. When he
was threatened he did not threaten in return.
And when hung on the torture stake and was abandoned and dying he prayed for those putting him to death asking God to forgive them.
You see Jesus' love was greater than any hatred. And he taught us how to love. He taught us what it really means to be a good person. To have respect
for all people. To cherish women the same as men. Not to look down upon others because of their race or religion or culture or age or gender. He
taught us that the greatest among us is the minister, the one that serves the others. He taught us to bear up under tribulation. He taught us to be
quiet when being reviled. To return evil for evil to no one. To love those persecuting us.
In fact we are told:
"For the joy that was set before him he endured a torture stake, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."-Hebrews
Jesus even while undergoing the greatest injustices ever heaped upon a human, and the greatest suffering of any human despised shame. That is he did
not allow the wicked world to get him to feel bad or dejected. He knew what the reward would be, and with a deep-seated joy he endured with faith
knowing he would sit down at his Father's right hand and be given the kingdom which would bring blessings to all obedient humankind.
So is the account of Jesus just another story in an old book? No. It is of the son of God. And he taught us the real way to live. And showed us that
love is so much stronger than hatred.
Do not hate. Do not let Satan's world mold you into its way of thinking. Rather follow the real example set for all humankind. That of Jesus Christ.
edit on 6-6-2021 by MidnightHawk because: (no reason given)