“If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” John 18:23 (NIV)
Whaaackkkk!!!! It resounds across the courtyard. Somebody didn´t like the response they found in Jesus. The guard lashes out and strikes our Saviour. If it had been one of us, we would have responded in many ways to this brutal treatment. Anger, outrage, self-pity, or whining would probably have replaced His calm and inoffensive reply. Christ simply brings attention to the fact that He was speaking the truth. But is this exactly what upsets so many who refuse to bow to the Truth? Is much of the hatred and oppression brought on by the world precisely because the world prefers to go on as they are? Do people do injury to our Lord when they just can´t get their hearts to adjust to what it is that He asks of us? Is this when we find people striking Jesus?
The first response to the world´s harsh treatment of Jesus and what He stands for is to try and set the believing Christians high up out of the hot water. We tend to dislike scrutiny. We like to feel that because we have come this far with our faith that we stand always on the side of God. We prefer to let the world hold all the guilt of what goes contrary to the will of the Father. While this may be true in part, it is not a very safe angle to take if we are serious about one day finding ourselves kneeling at His feet. The dangers that confront the true Christian are real and are designed to prevent us from having free and life-giving access to the throne of grace. Complacency will not win us a crown. We must check ourselves often and test our love and devotion to the Lord to make sure that we have not been tricked into letting our own interests slip secretly into the seat of honor in our hearts.
Jesus always speaks the truth. He has been called The Truth, The Way and the Light! Should any man question that kind of authority, then that person steps precariously out on a limb. This sort of reckless rogue places more confidence upon their own power to judge right and wrong than the very One Who came to teach us of the limitless Love of God. But once again we do not have to look at the extreme case of rejection. Whenever and wherever we find men belittling the message Jesus brings to us, we are acting recklessly. We don´t need to directly attack our Lord to strike Him a cheap-shot. If we brush off a moment that we could have had with Him, then we are hurting our chances of having anything to do with Him in the end. A chance perhaps we cannot afford to take.
So today if we sense a burning inside or a subtle tug at our heart to seek more of Him or improve our relationship with Him, what kind of response will we give in to? Will we follow on to pursue the Spirit´s gentle call? Or will we injure our precious Saviour by allowing our interests shift back to our busy agendas? Should we get all upset at another person for hurting Christ? Or should we take a good hard look at what is going on in our lives? Is there any way that we might be striking Jesus now?
We never want to let You down. We never want to hurt You. Please open our eyes, our ears and our hearts today! Do not let us miss any chance to draw nearer to You or lessen Your importance in our lives. Do not let us injure You in this way or hurt the possibility of You coming to us in the most powerful and intimate Way. Be our Lord now. Fill us with Your love! Keep us from striking You today, but rather embrace You and actively seek Your Presence with us now we pray!