MisunderstoodPosted: Mon. Nov, 2 2020
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, " Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? "that is," My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? " 47 And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, "This man is calling for Elijah." 48 And immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. 49 But the rest of them said, "Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him."
Even in His finest hour, as He is presently dying for all of their sins, Jesus says “Eli” meaning “My God,” and those who had been mocking Him around the cross thought they heard “Elijah.” So sure are they that they got it right, they become filled with an anticipation that perhaps they might see Elijah come and save Him.
When we are serving God by serving His people, do we think we will be heralded, or even understood? Is there not, echoing somewhere inside of us, the desire of the flesh to be recognized, understood, and thanked by other people who we assume will recognize our good service of God? I do actually mean the proper, properly motivated service of God out of love for Him and responsibility to Him.
I would assume that Jesus knew in advance that His work on the cross, His finest, would not be understood by anyone. He said as much prior.
But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, 25 and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man for He Himself knew what was in man.
How incredibly sad and lonely it must have been for Him to know the heart of fallen man better than anyone else.
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed,
And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.”
“Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”
Judas betrayed Him. The soldiers and temple guards arrested Him and beat Him, even though they all took a knee at His word and He miraculously healed one of them. The Sanhedrin refused to believe even after all the miracles He had done in their midst in the Temple just days before. Pilate and the Romans also failed to see, though they witnessed Him behave in a way they had never seen before, and could have never dreamed that there could be such a man. And then from the cross, forsaken by the Father, judged for the sins of the world, He is impassioned to cry out to God in Aramaic, “Eli, Eli …” and they, finally listening to Him, get it wrong.
I write this so that we all may understand that we must not look to people’s responses when we serve God, and thereby serve His people. If your service of the Lord is from genuine submission and dependence and obedience, then you must only look to God for satisfaction. Certainly, there will be some who recognize your efforts, and maybe it is even on their behalf, and they will thank you. But there will also be some who ignore the work, even if it is done for them. There will be some who take the work for granted, as if it is expected, almost like a justified payment to them. You might find yourself getting discouraged.
Ultimately, every promise and doctrine from the Word of God has to be tested in us. It shows us if we really believe what we claim to so easily believe when it is easy. The test of service to God is to be shunned by people when you serve them. The test is to also be misunderstood.
When we’re legitimately misunderstood and we have sought to do good, we want to sprint to the witness stand and shout our defense. Jesus spoke not. He left the accusations and misunderstanding to hang in the air and linger, waiting for them to be blown away and forgotten. And they were. When the walls of Jerusalem were crashing down all around them years later, they were not remembering their mocking nor were they debating whether Jesus called for Elijah or someone else. Can we imagine Him shouting down at them, “I said Eli stupid, not Elijah! Eli!”? Can we imagine Him saying, “Can’t you see that I’m dying for you!?” We can’t. Not Him. And so, not us either, for we are to be like Him. Therefore, we silently look on as our motivations and service are misunderstood. No defending, explaining, or stumping. We wait and see what God will do, and thus come to know even deeper that our service to all is unto God alone.
When we first enter heaven and see the Lord face to face for the first time, it will not at all be important what a few people on earth thought of us or our ministry/service, but it will matter completely what our King thought of it.
"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'”
To Jesus be all glory,
Pastor Joe Sugrue