Are we treating Jesus with contempt?
We live in a world that holds and treats Jesus with contempt. Jesus suffered greatly for us. That was why He came.
Jesus came to suffer and pay the penalty for my missing God’s goal so that I don’t have to. He did it with joy, knowing what waited for him on the other side of the grave.
And Jesus said to them, “Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things and be treated with contempt?” | ~Jesus | Mark 9:12
As background, the Greek word for contempt is ἐξουθενέω exouthenéō, (ex-oo-then-eh’-o). It means contemptible, despise, least esteemed or set at naught. The first principle of Jesus is to love. Contempt is hate but it is insidious in that I don’t see it in my life.
Jesus told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Source: Luke 18:9-14 (NASB)
Am we treating Jesus with contempt? Now that is a tough question. I don’t really want to think about it. Why does Jesus ask such tough questions?
Yet, if I am nullifying what Jesus wants to be happening, is that not contempt? If I don’t help the poor or those in prison, is that not contempt?
Jesus is clear that if I don’t help them, I am evil and going to spend my eternal life in “fiery hell”.
And Jesus said to them, “Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things and be treated with contempt? (Mar 9:12 NASB)
God has a purpose. God knows what He is doing. God knows who He is choosing to bring the good news of Jesus to elites of this world.
What about Jesus? Jesus warns us about contempt as well. Contempt is very dangerous. It is the attitude of “I’m righteous” (and right about doctrine) and you are not.
Am I a member of the “doctrine police” constantly issuing heretic alerts? That is a good question to ask. Why? It might be more about contempt for the opinions of others than heresy. Please read on!
Do I hold fellow followers of Jesus in contempt because of what they believe? What if my contempt is around something that is a weakness of faith and not heresy of doctrine?
It could be that some of our doctrinal disputes are really about theological opinions that aren’t offered by false prophets and heretics. This may seem like a fine line but maybe it isn’t sometimes. There were many old ways of thinking that Jesus and the new covenant leave behind. Like what, you say? How about circumcision? How about what Paul is referencing here in terms of what can and can’t be eaten?