I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. – John 5:43
When Jesus Christ met opposition, He did not respond in the way you might expect. He was accused of heresy, blasphemy, insurrection and being possessed, but His most common response to critics was to force them and others to consider the purpose of these attacks. Furthermore, He turned their attacks back upon them with questions instead of harsh words.
Jesus told the Pharisees that they should look in the Scriptures that they claimed to trust (John 5:39). In them they would find the Messiah, the Son of Man, the Anointed One of Israel, the promised heir of David, a Righteous Branch. He fulfilled the prophecies pertaining to Him and continues to do so today living and reigning forever. Yet, no matter how many miracles He performed or lives He changed for the better, sceptics then and now doubted Him and His word.
Even though many people loved Jesus, many others hated Him. Why is it that the very concept of Jesus offends so many people? And why does using the Bible to support a position arouse anger and frustration? Aren’t whole philosophies built on less? I am sure there are many reasons, but behind them is often resentment. Even the best people resent being told of their mistakes much less their sins. In the end, the existence of a savior implies the need for salvation, and people do not naturally want to change.
Blinded by sin, pride and fear, we often try to justify our own actions. Instead, the Gospel says we should confess our sins and experience true forgiveness. Like Jesus, we should be about our Father’s business. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). There will be persecution, but I pray we will be strong enough to endure it and wise enough to respond with love even when others do not receive us likewise.