LUKE 23:8-11: “Now Herod was overjoyed when he saw Yeshua, for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had heard about Him and was hoping to see some miracle done by Him. He was questioning Yeshua on many issues, but Yeshua did not answer at all. And the ruling kohanim and the Torah scholars stood their ground, strongly accusing Him. Now Herod together with his soldiers were treating Him with contempt and mocking Him. They put splendid clothing on Him and sent Him back to Pilate.” TLV
OBSERVATION: How do I respond to personal opposition in my life? When Jesus was brought before Herod He was mocked and falsely accused by the leading priests, rulers, and by Herod and his soldiers. Yet, Jesus did not answer them at all. Jesus quietly and humbly stood there entrusting His life to the Father.
This was not the common response of an accused man. In fact, their accusations and mockery were simply baiting that was aimed at causing Jesus to say something that would condemn Him. Even when Pilate asked Him if He was the King of the Jews Jesus simply replied, “As you say.” Jesus was the epitome of meekness – power under control.
There is a difference between Jesus and me. When I face opposition in life, even when I am falsely accused, I am not innocent. Jesus was innocent, and I am a sinner saved by grace. Even though I have been fully forgiven and pardoned through Christ’s sacrifice, I still am in the process of becoming like Jesus, and my actions continually need to be purified. The more defensive I am when I face opposition, the more it is clear that I have something that needs to be changed in my life.
There is a difference between speaking the truth in love and being defensive. One is aimed at the benefit of those who are listening, the other is aimed at saving face. When I react defensively I am simply admitting that I have some responsibility in what is being said. However, when I humble myself before the Lord and others, when I listen with an open heart, and when I position myself in repentance, I have the opportunity of seeing God change and refine me.
When I resist being defensive, when I listen with an open heart, I find that I discover the truth. The truth is the only thing that will ever truly set me free. If I have a blind spot, all that defensiveness will do is allow that spot to continue and to grow. And, just like with driving, a blind spot in our lives that continues to grow will lead us into a collision in our relationships. This is why James exhorts us,
- “Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger— for human anger doesn’t produce the righteousness of God. So put away all moral filth and excess of evil and receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” Jacob (James) 1:19-21 TLV
A defensive ear will never hear the truth that is able to save their soul. Yet, a humble ear, a meek ear that is quick to listen, will find the truth that will set them free. Lord, help me to walk as You walked. Help me to place my trust fully in the Father. Help me to listen with humility and be ready to receive the implanted Word which is able to set me free!
In Jesus Name!