The Misunderstood Jesus

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3 KJV)

From the time he was twelve and stayed behind in the temple following Passover in Jerusalem while his parents journeyed back home to Nazareth, Jesus was misunderstood. When they frantically found him and confronted him about worrying them, Jesus’s frank response was, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business? (Luke 2:49 NKJV)

His fellow Jews mistakenly thought his mission was to usher in a new political regimen replacing the tyrannical rule of the Romans. It wasn’t just the general public who misunderstood the nature of the kingdom he spoke of being at hand. His own disciples did as well, thinking it was the sort of place where insiders jockeyed for a plum position.

The church leaders had their own ideas about what Jesus was up to. Instead of embracing him as the long-awaited Messiah, they felt threatened by his simple message of the forgiveness of sin and love for God and their fellow man. They held a death grip on the considerable power they wielded over the masses in their distorted, oppressive application of the Mosaic law, and went on to prove they would go to any lengths to preserve it. They deliberately fed Pilate misinformation, falsely leading the governor to believe Jesus was bent on overthrowing the sitting government by some insurrection or coup.

Pilate doubted their arguments given the demeanor of the accused who stood before him but went along with the ruse rather than cause further disruption. He allowed the Roman soldiers to beat his captive within an inch of his life, and then mock him by parading him in a scarlet robe (supplied by Herod), wearing a hastily constructed crown of thorns, placing a reed in his right hand to serve as a scepter. The mockery wouldn’t stop there. When he was hung on the cross on Golgotha, they placed a sign over his head bearing the inscription “King of the Jews,” is not one but three languages, just in case someone missed their point.

Most significantly, Jesus was misunderstood by even Satan himself, who felt having him crucified would put an end once and for all to his troublesome foe and the grassroots movement he had started. He never dreamed there would be a resurrection to follow, which would be the impetus for a religion that would cross language barriers and spread across continents that hadn’t even been discovered yet.

Fortunately for us, God had a plan that was executed flawlessly by his son, Jesus, at great cost to himself. May we never lose sight of the heavy price he paid for our salvation.

Dear Father, Please steer us towards a better understanding of both you and your dear son, Jesus. Amen

Carol (NC)