The other suffering



August 28, 2012, 9:23 AM

Picture the scene: You have just gone out on a limb for God. You have made a statement in public in the company of scoffers, or sophisticates, and it has laid a bomb. Maybe your comment is met with awkward silence. Maybe you catch a man casting a furtive glance across the room at his friend—a look of superiority, a mutual admiration society of two who consider themselves to live on a higher plane. Or maybe you are met with outright insult.

When I think of the sufferings of Christ I usually think of the nails and crown of thorns. I don’t usually think of the ridicule.

Jesus was walking down the street one day, knowing from past experience that His very presence always divided humanity into camps. Once again that day there would be the joyfully encouraged, and there would be the haters. Sure enough, a synagogue ruler named Jarius asked Jesus to follow Him home to heal his daughter. And when Jesus got to the house, having been told in public that the little girl was already dead, he told the people standing around him that she was actually only sleeping and she would be alright. “And they laughed at him.”

Ridicule is a dish best served up cold by your own people.

Like this other time: “Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, ‘He is out of his mind’ (Mark 3:20-21).

Maybe you know someone who was so sold out for God that he gave up a lucrative profession to become a missionary, and  people said he was “out of his mind,” or a “fanatic.”

When we get on our knees to thank Jesus for his suffering, let us remember the other kind of suffering he endured at the hands of perverse men—the heartbreaking suffering of unjust ridicule.