Just like Him!

There are some people you just cannot please. If you say black, they will say white. If you say up, they will say down. The bottom line is that they will always look for a way to criticize, discourage and argue with you.

Jesus had just performed a miracle by casting out a demon from a man who had been a life-long mute. No doubt the demon terrorized the man for his entire life. When Jesus saw him, He had compassion on him and relieved him of his distress. In response to His act of mercy and kindness the self-appointed spiritual know-it-alls responded by saying, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.”

I am not certain, but I suspect that there was a long, silent pause in heaven after that ignorant remark was made. It’s amazing to consider what Jesus had to endure as He shared God’s love to those around Him.

But He came to a broken and dark world filled with bitterness, envy, jealousy, strife, deceit, and wickedness of every sort. What is really amazing is that such people did not discourage Jesus from continuing to do good to others. The very next verse reads, “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matt 9:35).

What a beautiful sight. It seems that the cruel remarks of the Pharisees made Jesus double-down in his efforts. Not only that, but He made their community the object of His kindness and mercy. Look at that verse again. It says that He went all over “teaching in THEIR synagogues.”

Instead of quitting in anger, or arguing with idiots, Jesus gave them a season of mercy, love, grace, and kindness. What a lesson for us!

Has someone discouraged you lately? Have you ever felt like quitting because of the cruel and insensitive remarks of some thoughtless person? Instead of quitting, let their disparaging remarks lead you to double-down on your efforts to do good.

Treat your tormentors with kindness, grace, mercy, and love. Pray for them. Do good to them. Continue in the work to which you were called. Who knows, maybe they will come around some day. Your love will have covered a multitude of sins, but more importantly, you will be acting like Jesus, and revealing what the Kingdom of God is all about!

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