Abused, Mocked, Shamed and Cast Out (Mark 15:17-19)

Have you ever misjudged someone? You know, you meet somebody for the first time and maybe you get a negative impression and that impressions causes you to treat them in a certain manner. Then sometime later, you discover something about them that turns you, your attitude and your actions completely around. We have all been there and guilty of the same.
In fact, you may have experienced this as the victim as well. Rest assured, you are not alone in this experience. In fact, the Lord was treated in the same manner.

And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. (Mark 15:17-19)

When people fail to recognize your value as a person, they may do the same to you as they did to him. They may physically harm or abuse you, mock and shame you, and cast you out.

People who are truly loved will be cherished and protected. People are not loved because they fall short of what people desire or expect and when this occurs, they become objects upon which people take out their anger and bitterness. Jesus was scourged for the purpose of satisfying the hearts of the people. The people were glad for this to be done and this gladness was a direct result of how little they valued Jesus. (Mark 15:15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.)

When people fail to recognize your value as a person, they will mock and degrade you: they may talk as you talk and walk in the same manner as you would walk all to make a mockery of you. Their words of ridicule, rejection and laughter may tear deeply in your heart, but remember, you are not alone. In like manner, the people made a mockery and shame of the Lord.

Finally, they may cast you out. As they cast out Christ and sent him to be crucified, they too will cast you out. If they only knew how wonderful you really are, they wouldn’t treat you this way. Hurt, anger, bitterness and hatred fill their hearts and control them to act as they do. Sin took its hold on them and in sin they will act out on others around them.

For some people, they may recognize their error and make a change, but some may never recognize your great value. God didn’t make any mistake when he made you. Your height, weight, looks, economic status, intellect, physical impairments and whatever else may appear to be holding you back are really your thorn in the flesh that can make you stronger. You are not alone as you face life and those that treat you wrongfully. As Jesus faced these treatments from men, he was never alone. His father was always present with him and he will always be present with you. His Holy Spirit will comfort you and because of this, he wants you to come boldly to the throne of grace to find his help in times of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Remember, God will always be there for you. He recognizes your great value because he created you for himself. He will not reject you: he cannot reject you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and what you are is just what he loves.

Advertisements

 The Danger of Comparing Yourself (2 Corinthians 10:12)

comparing 

 
Did you ever compare something before?  Were you ever ready to make a purchase, but before making up your mind, you compared one item to another.  Sometimes the decision is easy.  However at other times, it can be quite difficult.

How many times have you compared items and made a wrong decision?  You tried your best, but your decision was wrong.  It wasn’t the end of the world and in the end nothing bad probably came from it.  All of us have done it.  However, there are times when we make comparisons that the outcome can be problematic and even harmful.

Consider the scripture:  II Corinthians 10:12

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

If you took the keywords, defined them and then paraphrased this passage, it would look something like this.

We should not do the extreme behavior of counting ourselves as part of a special group, nor should we judge ourselves with those that exhibit themselves: because those who measure others to themselves or compare themselves to the standard of others are not wise.

What does this actually mean?  We are all familiar with the phrase, “He thinks he has arrived”.  People who see themselves this way are guilty of making themselves of the number.  Sometimes these people stand out.  However, there are others who are guilty of this, but they cloak themselves with false words of humility.

You measure yourself by yourself when you determine your spirituality based on how you compare yourself to others. You may measure yourself more spiritual than others if the others have fallen short of your standard of living or you may consider yourself less spiritual because you have not attained the standard of living that others have set.

We have all done this. We look around the church and interact with those present.  In the back of my minds, we compare ourselves to those we meet.  We point out their weaknesses or shortcomings as the scale of righteousness tips in our favor. For others, the process is quite different. They view others in the opposite way. They identify good qualities in others and make a comparison of themselves. Again the scale of righteousness tips, but they are on the unfavorable side. The event goes on Sunday after Sunday.  This two way street of measuring our spirituality is wrong and unwise.

Why do we do it or how did we get this way? There may be many reasons why you and I act this way but for most of us, it can boil down to a few sources. All while growing up, we were measured or compare. Compared to the older brother or sister or even compared to the neighbor. We were compared to a performance standard to get into sports, compared grades for honor privileges, compared to honesty, compared to hard work, compared in every facet of life. We compare ourselves because we were raised to compare. These comparisons–as a whole–were right, but they are not right spiritually.

Another reason we compare is because of our insecurity as human beings. Since the fall of man, we have fallen short of God’s intended design for man and this creates an insecurity within us. Deep within us, we seek acceptance from others and for those who come to know Christ, we seek acceptance from God. Some of us recognize that in Christ we have obtained acceptance. However for so many of us, this is not so.  Why?  There have been wounds that we have obtained: wounds upon our souls. These are wounds of rejection.  Every time somebody treated us wrongfully, we were also rejected.  Being laughed at, mocked, shunned, and even being teased hurt us deeply because each of these was a rejection. These wounds pressed us down and at times even depressed us.  Our natural response was to seek acceptance from others. In an effort to attain this, we identified what were acceptable standards and then set out to accomplish them. Be thin! Be fun! Be smart! Be popular and the be’s go on. When we came to Christ, the attitude remained within us. We identified acceptable spiritual standards and then set out to accomplish them. Be faithful, be modest, be giving, be helpful, be humble – and the be’s go on. We compared ourselves to others to see how we were doing and when we did, we were not wise.