For the Sake of the Son
For the Sake of the Son
In looking through the gospels, yes, Jesus had a large following of people listening to His preaching and gladly learning the truths of God. Within that same crowd there were some who only wanted to see miracles and get fed miraculously. There were also listeners who hated Jesus’ teachings and were only there to try and trap Him in something He might say.
Jesus never softened His words in an effort to be politically correct. Instead, He always spoke the truth, even knowing it irritated the teachers of the Law and caused them to grow in their hatred towards Him and eventually seek His death. Such was the case when Jesus preached in Luke 6:22-24,
Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and heap insults upon you, and spurn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.
But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.
Jesus said this knowing full well that He had different kinds of listeners in the crowd. The people who were honestly desiring to live according to God’s actual word, were the ones who realized that the Pharisees and Sadducees were imposing man-made traditions upon the people that were not God pleasing. They were most glad to stop following all those man-made traditions, and live according to the truths Jesus preached. Because they followed Jesus instead of the Pharisees and Sadducees, they were hated, ostracized, insulted, and spurned.
The same sorts of things happen today. Those who care about truly following Jesus’ truths are often rejected by those who want to have a strong religious leadership over other people at any cost. To gain attention to themselves, they make up their own religious standards.
In other words, there are people who become strong religious leaders as they put on a front of being an authority, and create all sorts of man-made rules for people to follow. People who don’t study God’s word, but want to be religious, become entrapped in all the man-made rules. They become so busy following all the man-made rules, they don’t even have time to look at the truths in God’s word. At the same time, they are taught to reject Jesus’ true followers, under the pretext that they are evil. It all gets confusing as men struggle to be leaders over people and gain attention for themselves instead of giving all glory, honor and worship to Jesus.
Jesus lets us know that this will be happening so that we can be forewarned and wary of all false teachings. Everything contrary to God’s given word is to be avoided. But, as we stand up for the truth in Christ Jesus, we will be hated, ostracized, insulted, and spurned for the sake of the Son of Man. Such rejection will hurt, but as Paul explains in Romans 8:17, about Christians who look to the word of God,
…and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.
We suffer “with” Christ only if we are truly abiding in His word. We can’t be following some false preacher and honestly claim to be suffering for the sake of Jesus. Suffering with Jesus has to include standing strongly in the truths of His grace and redemption only. We surely will not try to lean in the least bit on our own “good works” or self-righteousness. Only those who suffer with Jesus in truth will be glorified with Him.
That’s something to think about as we are inundated with all sorts of preaching. Are we going to Jesus for the truths we need? Are we trusting Him only and leaning on His promises of grace and forgiveness? If we do, it will certainly be worth it in the end — God promised.
Then, in the peace of God’s grace we can endure whatever kind of rejection the world throws our way, knowing that Jesus has overcome the world. And, in fellowship with our Lord, we say, “Hallelujah! Lord, Your love has endured so much for us. Thank You for Your grace in allowing us to endure the world for Your sake.”
A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and GOD of gods.
Pray for our country.
The LORD made this day, let us rejoice and be glad in Him.
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.