If Jesus Hated Anyone It Was The Church!
With a statement as incendiary as ‘If Jesus Hated Anyone It Was The Church’ I know I’m not going to avoid controversy. My aim is covered with the intent of catching your attention however, an immediate disclaimer if you will allow.
I don’t believe that Jesus had the capacity to hate anyone; the very notation of the cross would be inconceivable if such a negative emotion were to be found in our Saviour King. Put simply there would not be amazing grace if Jesus had operated on anything but love which has been the arch enemy to hate since the dawn of time.
However, we are currently in the middle of an historic moment where the church and the secular world are on a collision course at galactic speed. A confrontation is inevitable and criticism is a certainty — this isn’t a time for complacency or compromise, it is a time for love to cover and for love to win! What defines us is not our message but in most respects our method.
The book of Wisdom teaches us that our approach and delivery matter much. They also compliment the message, let’s take a look.
Proverbs 15:1 ‘A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.’
It’s wisdom tempered with love that breaks through the hardest walls and softens the most shattered heart. It’s the wonder of grace that shines so bright in a dark and hurting humanity … “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” Jesus said “…for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and the time of the Lord’s favour has come.”
Can you find anything but love that is beyond reason here in this text? Of course the answer is no. So then why do we spend so much time trying to defend God rather than representing Him? Why in some church circles and across social media do we find a growing number of narrow-minded, though well meaning, individuals who want to fight for God rather than love for Him? If we can’t love first, if we can’t let love win are we somewhat mislead and completely missing the heartbeat of the Gospel?
If Jesus was uncompromisingly critical of anyone it was those who were supposed to represent and speak for God. The leaders of the day, those who were in the temple, the Pharisees and Sadducee’s who were devoid of empathy and compassion, two ingredients critical to love.
Count only His words in Matthew 12 where He calls them a bunch of snakes based on their anger that someone was set free in a way that went against tradition, their fruit betrayed them because their fruit stank!
We live in a time where our values are weighted and measured not as individuals but as a community of believers known collectively as the church. The lesson here is this … let God be judge, let us be love … leave the rest up to Him!