"If you are the king of the Jews..." (Luke 23:37)
According to Luke's Gospel, as our Lord Jesus is being led to His crucifixion (read this week's Christ the King Gospel, Luke 23:32-43), people are sharing their "honest" opinions of Him. Here it is:
Verse 35 - "church leaders" scoffed at Jesus making fun by saying "If He is the Messiah, God's chosen, He should be able to save Himself!"
Verse 36 - the soldiers mocked Him "save yourself, if you are the king of the Jews!"
Verse 39 - even one of the two criminals who were crucified with Him "derided" Him saying: "Aren't You the Messiah? If so- save Yourself....and us!"
It's expressed in all four Gospels that the crowds as well jeered at Him, spit on Him, and did all kinds of horrible things to Him while He suffered.
So, what did Jesus say to all this politically correct opinions of Him?
He actually did respond, twice. We could learn a thing or two from Jesus in this day of political and personal jeering about Presidents, Popes, and common people:
First, He said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
And second, He responded to the benevolent criminal on the cross next to Him:
"Truly, today, you will be with Me in paradise."
Our Lord Christ responds and retaliates for sure, only, His retaliation is full of grace and love. He never bites back or speaks inconsistently or with a single mean bone in His body.
We all could learn yet another lesson from Jesus Christ today, couldn't we?
Don't forget - we all want to experience "paradise," (whatever that may mean to you) and we can reach that point of realization. Jesus taught us that it is achieved only through the kind gift of forgiveness.
Remember - God loves you and so do we!
Update On Ashley
Ashley has done well this week after her surgery. She did have a follow up visit with her doctors and her oncologist and all is looking very well. She continues to not be able to drive or pick up anything over 5 pounds, but other than that, she improves day to day! Now it's time for her to take it easy and let her body heal as God intends!
The family all are doing well, fighting a little bit of a cold, but doing well. We are getting ready for our own Thanksgiving celebration, just the six of us. (Seven if you want to include Ollie the dog.)
We hope everyone of you have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday and a safe one at that. Know that we pray for all of you as you have been doing so faithfully for us these past twelve weeks. Thank you all for your faith and service and love.
Pastor Jim and Mary Alice