Mark 11: 18, “And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.”
A friend of mine once asked me to think about something: if the church in America today could be picked up and transferred back in time, would she even recognize Jesus and, if she could, would she follow Him? Or would she be ashamed of Him? Jesus was an outcast. He was considered a rebel and a trouble maker by the established religious leaders. His message was radical. Jesus was a friend of sinners and a man of sorrows. His own brothers thought He was crazy and wanted to take charge of Him. Folks He grew up around wanted to kill Him. So did many others.
If we could go back in time and know Him, what would we think of Him? Would we react as so many others did? Would we be embarrassed by Him? Would we be ashamed of Him? Would we think Him crazy? Our purposes for our churches are so completely different than His purpose in establishing the church. Our churches don’t tend to make waves; that’s what He was known for. We are friends of the world–not to save them but so that we can play with them; He befriended them to show them His Father. We live for self and pleasure, He lived to please God and obey Him.
If we could go back for a while, what would we think of Jesus cleansing the temple–not once but twice? What would we think of His choice of friends and associates? How would we react when He denounced the Jewish leaders? What would be our response to His teachings?
And what would Jesus think of us? What does He think of us today? If He walked among us, would He say “Well done” and feel comfortable joining us in worship? Or would He be busy cleansing our churches? Denouncing our preachers? Would He even acknowledge that we were His?
Just as the Jews of His time did, the church today often wants Jesus to be something He is not. Because He wasn’t, because He was true to God, they hated Him. If we are faithful to follow Him, the same will be true of us.
Is it true of us? Can we honestly say that, because we are faithful and obedient to God, we one of the hated?