You can learn a lot about Jesus based on the accusations people made against him.
They accused him of being in league wit the devil for casting out a demon on the Sabbath and forgiving a man his sins (Mark 2).
They accused him of being a sinner for hanging around tax collectors and sinners (Matt 9:11 & Luke 5:30).
He was accused of eating and drinking too much (Matt 11:19).
He was accused of welcoming the wrong kind of people (Luke 15:1-2).
They grumbled against Jesus that he invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house (Luke 19:7).
They accused him of blasphemy…of being the prince of demons…of threatening the temple…of being a king like Caesar…receiving anointing at the hands of a “sinful woman” and I am sure we don’t know the half of it.
You can learn a lot about Jesus based on the accusations made against him. A lot of the accusations had to do with belonging and acceptance.
Jesus loved people who some didn’t believe deserved to be loved. Jesus’ compassion moved him to heal people in spite of the fact that some believed it was the wrong day to heal on. Jesus’ desire to be around the unloved moved him to table fellowship with the outcasts and the unclean.
Jesus was inclusive in an exclusive world. We can learn a lot from Jesus on this. Jesus helps us understand where the lines are and where they are not. He helps us understand that people are to be loved and encouraged and that is done best through care and concern rather than through condemnation and criticism.
What is the world accusing you of? Is it because you are doing anything similar to Jesus?
When does the world look at you suspiciously? Is it because you are acting in ways people aren’t used to seeing? Or are we looking with suspicion on those Jesus would be welcoming?
We have a lot to learn from watching and imitating Jesus.
What would Sunday morning look like if we lived like Jesus? Who would be there who is not there? Why would they come then when they won’t come now?
I am humbled by watching how Jesus dealt with people…how he viewed them…how he loved them. Jesus challenges my suspicion. He challenges my selfishness. He challenges my comfort zones. If I had been alive when Jesus was on the earth would I have accepted his actions or would I have been among the accusers? I am afraid I may have been in the second group. Heaven help me!
How about you?