Have you ever been mocked or ridiculed over what God is leading you to do?
Have you been in a situation where you had to be silent and not respond to critics as you keep trusting that in time God would make the truth, even your true intentions, plain to people?
Have you ever had people in “religious” circles attempt to negate God’s calling in your life?
If you have, you’re in good company because that’s exactly what happened to Jesus throughout His earthly ministry and especially during the moments leading up to His death.
Don’t You Realize?
Jesus knew the specific assignment God had given Him to complete on Earth. He knew from the beginning that the cross was ahead of Him. He knew what He would have to suffer. And He went to it willingly because of His love for us and His obedience to God the Father.
Jesus had to show extreme restraint as the Pharisees and other unbelievers assaulted Him with their lies. One of these times came in the Garden of Gethsemane as they were arresting Him. As His disciples wanted to fight off the religious leaders Jesus said:
“Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?’” Matthew 26:53-54
And then as He was dying on the cross more and more abuse was heaped upon Him.
“The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Look at you now!” they yelled at Him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”
The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but He can’t save himself! So He is the King of Israel, is He? Let Him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in Him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if He wants Him! For He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” Matthew 27:39-43
Can you imagine?
Jesus was dying a horrific and brutal death and at any moment could have come down off that cross and smoked the Pharisees. But He chose not to.
For our sake.
What if Jesus hadn’t shown restraint and had gotten down off the cross at that moment?
We wouldn’t be redeemed! Instead, Jesus kept His eyes on the goal of our redemption and salvation and kept on with what God had called Him to do.
It takes maturity and wisdom to show restraint when you need to and to just keep moving forward in what God is showing you to do, no matter how others are misjudging or ridiculing you.
Yes, it is important not to be a lone ranger. Yes, it is important to be open to godly counsel and correction. But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
The enemy would love to distract us and deter us from God’s will, to get us off track of our true assignment. Let’s be wise in knowing when to react and when to set our face like flint and keep moving forward, just like Jesus did.