Ada — As soon as Jesus Christ was born there were those who sought to destroy Him. The account immediately after Christ’s birth in Matthew 2 explains how the “troubled” King Herod tried to craftily take His life.
This marked the beginning of a lifetime of opposition that the Savior would face. But why would King Herod seek this child’s life? Why was this innocent baby perceived as a threat?
One reason may be that Christ was announced to King Herod as “the King of the Jews.” King Herod was likely concerned that this child would be a future rival to the government or at least be a source of uproar and chaos.
After escaping from King Herod, Jesus made no attempts to overthrow the government, but he continued to make enemies as well as gain many followers.
Jesus grew and performed His ministry while the Pharisees, the religious authorities of that time, took offense to Him and His teachings.
They were threatened because many people were choosing to follow Christ rather than believe in their doctrines and because Christ exposed their corruption without regard for their high social standing at the time. Matthew 23 is an account of Christ’s piercing rebuke to the Pharisees and scribes.
Ultimately, Christ was handed over to the Roman authorities by the religious leaders to be crucified. Throughout all of the resistance, Jesus never was overcome by His opponent’s threats, intimidation or persecution.
He remained faithful to His Father’s will until He yielded up His spirit on the cross.
His purpose was to bring light into the world and salvation to all who accept His sacrifice as atonement for their sins and follow Him in obedience. He loved to the very end, even asking God to forgive those who nailed Him to the cross.
His disciples today still find themselves in the midst of the clash between the light and darkness.
Christ explained to his followers, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” (John 15:19) How does God instruct His children to live while facing this opposition?
“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” — 1 Peter 2:21-24
We should also remember the words of John: “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”— 1 John 2:15-17
What other opposition do you face? Maybe you have an inward battle that no one else is aware of, or you have an addiction that is taking you captive.
Maybe your health is deteriorating and you are struggling to find peace as the end draws near. Maybe your relationships are filled with turmoil or you are at a crossroads in your life.
Whatever the case may be, there is hope for you in Jesus Christ. He pleads, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30
Brad Trekell is a 2013 graduate of NWOSU, where he wrote a column for the Northwestern News. Comments or questions may be sent to Brad via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.