The Misunderstood Jesus

Have you ever been misunderstood? Of course you have; we all have. It’s a very frustrating thing to go through. It’s really hard to deal with when people don’t want to know the truth about you. It seems that many times people would rather believe the gossip and the lies than to find out the truth of the matter. I guess that’s why tabloid newspapers sell so well . . . people want to believe the trashy stories about others. As a Christ-follower, I am to believe the best about people. I am to believe and think on what is true, holy, noble and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).

One of the things that I love about Jesus is that He understands my humanity and the weaknesses of humanity. He understands what it’s like to be misunderstood. In Mark 3:20-35 Jesus is clearly misunderstood. From Mark 1 through Mark 3, Jesus is healing people, casting out demons and has large crowds following Him. He is really making an impact in the community. And He eats with sinners! This was a shocker for the community of His day because Jewish rabbis didn’t do that sort of thing. Not to mention the eclectic group of disciples that He called to follow Him (and gave authority to do the same things He was doing). So in Mark 3:20-35, we find that another crowd has gathered around Jesus but this time His family has come to take Him away because they think that He’s lost His senses. Families are like that, you know!

Jesus’ own family didn’t understand who He really was. They wanted to take Him away and lock Him up. Why? What was He doing that was so wrong? He was healing people, setting people free, preaching good news and associating with the outcasts of society. He was showing them who God really was and what He really is like. Somehow that didn’t fit into the ideologies of His family so they thought they would do an intervention and seize Jesus. Misunderstood!

Not to mention that the scribes (the religious leaders) thought Jesus was casting out demons by the power of the prince of demons. Sure, He’s working miracles but its demonic power working against demonic power. Never mind the fact that people are getting healed and set free. Nope, we will have none of that. It goes against everything we believe or have seen in the past. Surely God wouldn’t heal sinners and set them free. Not a chance. He must have a demon to be doing this sort of thing. The very people that should have understood what was going on didn’t have a clue.

Now, just about every one of us reading this has been hurt and misunderstood by our families. Maybe we didn’t follow the right career choice of our parents; maybe our marriage failed and our parents and relatives didn’t understand our situation. Maybe our ideas don’t match our families. So, we become misunderstood and it hurts. It’s very frustrating because family is the one place on earth where we should be loved, valued and, at least attempted to be, understood. Unfortunately, it’s not…..and Jesus understands what that’s like!

The other place where we should be understood and accepted for who, and where we are, is the Church. But again, many have been hurt and misunderstood by the religious leaders of our day. So many people have left the Church because they were misunderstood by a pastor or other church leader. I could write several blogs on this very topic alone.  There is so much misunderstanding going on in churches today. 

It seems to me that instead of seeking to understand each other, we tend to villianize those that think differently than we do. The scribes did it to Jesus. They said that He had a demon. His family said that He had lost His senses. We do it all the time to those that are different. We villianize them so that we can feel better about attacking them personally. We make them our enemies. The problem with that is Jesus tells us to love our enemies and bless those that curse and do harm to us.

So, when we are misunderstood the best thing to do, as hard as it is, is to love and bless back. Do not villianize those opressing you. Love your enemies and realize that Jesus truly has been where you are when you are misunderstood.

What has been your experiences with being misunderstood?  How did you handle it?  Do you have any advice for others who are being misunderstand.


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