No one will dispute this statement, for it would not be proper for the pupil to be exalted above his Teacher. When our Lord was on earth, what was the treatment He received? Were His claims acknowledged, His instructions followed, His perfections worshiped by those whom He came to bless? No. "He was despised and rejected by men."1 His place was outside the city: Cross-bearing was His occupation. Did the world provide Him with comfort and rest? "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head."2 This inhospitable country provided Him no shelter: It cast Him out and crucified Him.
If you are a follower of Jesus and maintain a consistent, Christlike walk and behavior, you must expect to experience persecution and rejection also. Your Christian testimony will be scrutinized and criticized. People will treat it as they treated the Savior—they will despise it. Do not imagine that pagans will admire you or that the more holy and the more Christlike you are, the more peaceably people will act toward you. If they did not prize the polished gem, do you think that they will esteem the rough cut jewel? If they have referred to Jesus as Satan, how much more will they denigrate the teacher's disciples? If we were more like Christ, we would be more hated by His enemies.
It is a sad dishonor to a child of God to be the world's favorite. It is a very bad omen to hear a wicked world clap its hands and shout "Well done" to the Christian man. He may begin to look to his character and wonder whether he has been doing wrong when the unrighteous give him their approval. Let us be true to our Master and have no friendship with a blind and base world that scorns and rejects Him. Far be it from us to seek a crown of honor where our Lord found only a crown of thorns.
verse 1 Joel 2
verse 2 Psalms 142
Click here to learn more about Truth For Life
From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.