Are You Ready to Be Loved and Hated?
Jesus is the pattern for being both loved and hated in this world. As the world treated Him, it’ll treat you if you follow in His footsteps. The self-righteous will hate you (verses 1–2). Generous givers will love you (verses 3–9). “Friends” will betray you (verses 10–11). Come what may, your sacrificing Savior will love you (verses 12–26).
Jesus’ greatest opposition came from the religious leaders of Judaism. Those who claimed to love God actually hated God in the flesh (John 1:14). They hated Him because He threatened their positions, authority and self-righteousness. The greatest enemies of the cause of Christ are religious people without any relationship with Jesus. Don’t expect them to love you when you share the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. When I was raising financial support for a campus ministry, the most negative response I received was from a protestant clergyman. To further the Kingdom of God you must move beyond the desire for everyone to like you. I struggle with that.
While Jesus was in Bethany, Martha’s sister anointed Him with very expensive perfume worth a year’s wages. In one glub, glub, glub, she poured the entire contents on Jesus’ head. Judas and the other disciples viewed her loving action as a colossal waste. They said that the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor. But Jesus commended her beautiful act of love and devotion. Expect generous givers like Mary to touch your life. Are you a generous giver that touches others? Like Mary, do you do what you can (verse 8)? I have room for improvement. Do you?
It’s not enough to be in some inner circle of church leadership. Ministering for the Lord isn’t enough. Judas Iscariot had preached, healed the sick, and cast out demons (Mark 6:7–13). It’s not enough to listen to famous preachers. Judas had listened to the greatest teacher and preacher of all time. It’s sobering that Judas could perform miracles but in the end be lost. Slow spiritual leaks underlie most failures in the Christian life. Maintaining your spiritual health today helps prevent becoming like Judas tomorrow.
Mark 14:1–5 describes preparations for the Lord’s Supper. In verses 17–21, Jesus announced He’d be betrayed. The disciples asked, “Surely you don’t mean me?” (Mark 14:19, NIV). In the Middle East, one of the lowest things a person could do was betray a friend after eating with him.
Beginning in verse 22, Jesus interpreted the bread and cup of the Passover in terms of Himself. He gave thanks for the bread, broke it, and distributed it to His disciples. It represents His ongoing presence with His followers. He promises His special presence whenever the Lord’s Supper is celebrated.
Jesus gave thanks for the third of the four cups of the Passover celebration. He interpreted it in terms of His blood, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” (Mark 14:24, NIV). In the new covenant, God establishes a relationship of lordship and obedience which Jesus’ blood seals. The Lord’s Supper is God’s love letter and like having a loved one home for a holiday meal! #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources
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