WHAT ONE SAYS WHEN THREATENED
The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon ?” John 8:48
Human nature, inherited from Adam, causes any of us to run from the truth. When we are convicted, we run. We will obfuscate the issue and do whatever we need to do to self-protect. We resist being stripped of our pride and being reduced to a place of humiliation. This is the default way of our flesh and this is not of God. Only when we face the truth about ourselves can we ever find Jesus and the freedom He offers.
Imagine how deeply the Jewish religious leaders must have been convicted! Jesus’ words about their spiritual condition had to have pierced their hearts. He had correctly diagnosed their true spiritual condition; their spiritual father wasn’t Abraham and they didn’t know God. This was so degrading to hear that they came out with claws. They accused Jesus of being a Samaritan. (To be called a Samaritan was one of the most insulting things a Jew could be called. They were considered half-breeds, unclean.) They felt justified in pulling out all the stops, remembering that his mother was pregnant with Him before marrying Joseph. They also accused him of having a demon.
All this because Jesus words fell like a sword. Isaiah 49 is a prophetic chapter about the nature of Jesus’ calling. It was predicted that his mouth would be a sharp sword. His words would expose evil and loose captives. That day, it exposed the truth about religiosity void of the Spirit of God. It cut to the quick and when the truth threatened, the pious religious leaders of the day were capable of calling the perfect Son of God demonic.
David Jeremiah, while preaching recently, said that he never picks close friends until he has seen how they handle testing and adversity. He said that we never truly know someone until we see them exposed, stripped of everything that allows them to hide and be on safe behavior.
To be exposed to enemies is to feel unsafe, judged, taken advantage of. To be exposed in front of a holy God, one who offers grace and forgiveness, is the beginning of the abundant life. If only the Pharisees that day had known that. Some learned later and believed, like Nicodemus. Others learned too late, to their peril.
When I am in a pressure cooker, who am I? Lord, you have tested me and are burning off the dross. Amen