John 16:33—“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
And hate they did! The Roman government did not hate as much as fear him because they feared the movement. The Jewish leadership did both fear him and hate him because he was preaching “heresy” against what they had taught for centuries. It was true that anyone in a position of authority was not happy with this man who was known as “Jesus of Nazareth“.
In terms of world history (being a detractor for a moment), this was actually almost a non-event. Think about this in these terms for a moment. You have a baby born in a stable. Not a big deal as I am pretty sure many babies were born in stables back then with the family goats, sheep, burro’s etc..The baby grows up learning carpentry as a trade, another non-event as you had the son of a carpenter learning the family trade who was probably considered ‘middle-class’ back then.
The son continues to help the father in the family business for a number of years. Then one day he comes to his parents and say’s, “it is the time I go start my ministry” and leaves to become an evangelist. O.K., not so far out of the norm either. Many young people go to their parents every day and tell them they want to enter the ministry.
So how did this nondescript middle-class carpenter end up having the most powerful force on earth (The Roman Empire) along with every religious leader in the area hates him so much, they actually put him to death? How does this no-name middle-class carpenter end up being the most written about, the most talked about man in all of human history? How do you have a job for only 3 years as a little-known preacher then have a very thick book written about you that billions of people for thousands of years, both read, carry with them, cherish and actually have nations fight wars over? And finally; how come the words of peace, love, cherish, be devoted too, don’t lie, cheat, steal, and forgive those that… end up causing so much disdain amongst some and so much reverence for others that people will actually be willing to lose their life in defense of rather than denounce? How much power does a person have that can actually cause these things to happen?
It all began back at that stable. This little known (in fact nobody but a few guys riding camels knew) child who was born amongst the sheep and goats (according to history) had 3 guys in robes show up only to praise him and give very valuable gifts to the parents for having him in the first place. This very tiny baby (simply by being born) caused so much stir, that the King at the time so feared, he actually had all the male children hunted down and killed out of pure fear of the power of this baby. Can you imagine this happening today? A baby is born in a barn outside of Omaha and the President so fears him (he doesn’t know who he is) that he has the Army go around and kill every male child born in America between the ages of 0-2 years of age. The very aura of this child must have been truly awe-inspiring because by now everyone in the “circle” of the family (plus the 3 guys riding camels) knows this precious infant is going to save the entire earth.
Can you imagine the conversations he must have had with this father and mother while growing up? Mary is preparing dinner one night and say’s, “son, so just what happened to cause all of this”? The son reply’s, “well mom, one day my father was really bored and decided to create a universe”? Really?
The only reference we have in the Bible of his youth is when he sneaks off one day and goes to the Temple to pray. Mary is horrified as her young son is missing and is finally found in a Temple of all places. Most young men would have been out riding a skateboard or something, not this child, he is on his knees and is praying to his heavenly father. I would guess it was at this moment that Mary knew something big was about to happen. I have often wondered what Jesus was like a child. Was he like most children and fought with his siblings or was he the most well-behaved child in the history of the world? I guess someday I will learn the answer, but I have a hunch he was probably a very well mannered young man. Do you think he ever got into a food fight with James at the dinner table and threw green beans at his brother? We may never know, but it would be fun to learn.
As he does leave home, his mother by now knows what is going to happen and she has to be in horrible inner turmoil knowing the fate of her precious son. But then again, she also knows that this child never really belonged to her in the first place, he belonged to the entire heavens and earth.
Ask yourselves this, “who must have this loving, peace-preaching man been, for an entire empire and religious community to so fear, they were actually willing to put him on trial and murder him“?
His words live on and live in our hearts at all times on a daily basis some 2000 years after they were first uttered. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth! Blessed are the sick, blessed are the poor and so much more. In just a handful of sermons and a couple of years of trudging across (actually a very small area in terms of square miles), this man changed the earth forever and ever. This man who healed the sick, forgave the sinner and died an innocent man, taught all of humanity what it truly is to be of good character, humble, gracious and so much more. On this day, we say “Have a Blessed Easter Patriot’s“, “he has indeed risen” and will take away all the pain one day.
Be sure to add Bill O’Reilly’s book “Killing Jesus” to your library collection. It is a phenominal book and well worth the read. Order now at the link next to this article.