Do you ever feel like you are in a repetitive cycle with some people? Always trying to prove yourself but inevitably coming up short?
I think we can all relate to this but the surprising truth is that even Jesus experienced this. The motives, sincerity, and identity of the Son of God were challenged often AND by those who should have been His greatest supporters.
Let that sink in for a moment………
What Happened to Jesus
On the heels of several miracles, Mark 3:21-22 NIV gives the response from His family and religious leaders who were becoming aware of the buzz concerning Jesus.
When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
Now as I get to Mark 8:11-13, after He had already been accused because of these previous miracles/authority evidenced, His identity and intentions are being questioned again.
The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.
Why It Wasn’t Enough
So why would those who should have been championing Christ and His work ask Him for a sign after they had already seen PLENTY of evidence? Evidently, they didn’t like what the proof had already proven.
What more did they hope to gain? Maybe a way to find “proof” for His condemnation.
So what appears as the Pharisees asking for proof to support Christ’s claims, they are in reality looking for proof of His guilt. They were never out for good but for His conviction!
There will always be those who look for our condemnation rather than our commendation.
Jesus’ Shrewd Response
Why didn’t Jesus try ONE MORE TIME to get them to see the truth of the matter? Wasn’t it worth another go at being understood?
According to Jesus, no.
Well, doesn’t that seem a little abrupt to “give up” that quick? I usually spend way more time than that trying to get through to people.
What could be the reasons for His response?
- “Proving” Himself had already been done.
- More proof wouldn’t yield any better results.
- There is a fine line between loving others and trying to satisfy/appease them.
Christ seemed to understand the slippery slope of trying to prove Himself to those who were not interested in the proof of His deity in the first place. He gave unmistakable proof for all who were open to His authority and position. To those who were going to condemn Him no matter what, He left them with their mistaken opinion of Him.
Wow…….that’s a hard pill to swallow.
I know I don’t like being misunderstood and I am a sinner, nothing like the Perfect Savior. I can’t imagine being content with such false allegations when it was the COMPLETE opposite of the real situation. Yet, Christ was at peace with their faulty view of Him.
How could Christ be at peace with being so misunderstood?
Jesus seemed free from the burden of proving Himself to others. Although He came to reveal His identity to the world, using miracles to support His claim, He was not undone by the rejection or accusations of those who opposed Him.
Maybe because He knew that there will always be those who “oppose”, even when you are the Son of God coming out of pure love to die for the sins of the world. Who could complain about that?!?!
Well, a lot of people actually when you are coming into the presence of a bunch of sinners like mankind.
Christ understood that what mattered most was the Father being pleased with Him. Understanding the plan and purpose of God was the driving force, not the approval from others.
He knew what to do and more importantly maybe, what NOT to do. He did not let someone other than God determine if He was enough or had done enough. God was the only One who could set the standard and judge the achievement.
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 NIV
What does this mean for us?
We can walk in freedom just like Christ did if we learn from His example. Doing “enough” or proving ourselves to others will not always work. What then?
I think 2 perspectives make the difference.
- Just because someone holds up a hoop doesn’t mean we should jump through it.
- Just because someone chooses to ignore reality doesn’t give them the power to negate it.
Only God is allowed as our determining factor or whether we have proven ourselves. We don’t live up to the standard set by our fellow man but the God who Created us and the Savior who died for us. The Father sets the standard and Jesus met it on our behalf once and for all!
May we walk in freedom from the condemnation of man and humbly under the conviction of God. The verdict of being condemned is forever satisfied through the blood of Jesus Christ!