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Again, let this question be asked: why did the world not know Jesus Christ? Obviously, there is only one reason for why they did not receive Him. So simple is the answer, yet so difficult for the many to receive. The clear answer is, the world could not receive John the Baptist as the credible voice that identified Jesus Christ as the Light. The stumblingblock to the people in John's day, was John. In his appearance, he appeared very strange to them.
Therefore, they looked down on John. They rejected the message of God because John appeared strange in his dress and mannerisms. But in the sight of God, he was received very favourably. "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb" (Luke 1:15).
Despite being rejected, mocked and slandered, John remained faithful to the message God gave him. "And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:16-17).
Imagine John, a man of God standing before the world, clothed in camel hair, girded around the waist with a leather belt, and the food he ate, was locusts and wild honey, and he preached a baptism of repentance. The world's reaction to John the Baptist was: He is mad! He has a demon!
Now grasp this! The world's reaction to Jesus Christ would be the same, except He was placed at the top of their list for madness! "And the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, He is out of His mind. And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, He has Beelzebub, and, by the ruler of the demons He casts out demons" (Mark 3:20-22).
What! Imagine the looks on the faces of this multitude that got so upset with anger towards Jesus Christ, even to the point, they could not eat. The scribes said, He has Beelzebub. In other words, Beelzebub simply means Satan. And to put it in our modern-day language: He has Satan. Therefore, many labelled Jesus Christ as chief ruler of demons, saying, He has a demon and is insane. "And many of them said, He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?" (John 10:20).
Those who are the most deeply devoted to their own ways in religion, can manifest the most indignant and biased attitudes, when they encounter the plain truth of Jesus Christ's teachings. "But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David! They were indignant, and said to Him, Do you hear what these are saying? And Jesus said to them, Yes. Have you never read, Out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise?" (Matthew 21:15-16).
China's Little Ambassadors of Shanghai with Mr. Armstrong
Know this! No one nor anything can destroy God's truth! "For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth" (2 Corinthians 13:8). Nothing can stop the perfect praises of Jesus Christ. His plain truth teachings will always stand the test and produce good results, even when Satan's evil spies are sent, pretending to be righteous.
Every time, without fail, the pure light of God's truth will expose them. "And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people - for they knew that He had spoken this parable against them. So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor."
"And they asked Him, saying, Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You do not show personal favouritism, but teach the way of God truly; Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not? But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, Why do you test Me? Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have? They answered and said, Caesar's. And He said to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marvelled at His answer and kept silent " (Luke 20:19-26).
Understand this! All through Jesus Christ's ministry, He constantly had to face and deal with Satan's pressure from those dedicated to their devoutness to have their own ways in religion. This intensity of pressure mounted to hatred, even to the point that Christ's disciples became concerned for Jesus Christ's physical safety.
A time came when a close friend of Christ had died. Therefore it became necessary for Jesus Christ to prepare Himself to return to a place that despised His ministry, and it became necessary for Christ's disciples to remind Him of the danger. "Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, let us go to Judea again. The disciples said to Him, Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?" (John 11:5-8).
What else did Jesus Christ say they had falsely called John and Him? "For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, he has a demon. The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!" (Luke 7:33-34).
Remember, in Christ's ministry, He always remained free. As our Lord Jesus Christ went about ministering the work of God, think of the continual pressure of evil that came from those whose only desire was to test Him. Therefore, being free, He was always prepared when He encountered those crafty schemers, who pretended they were good, when Jesus Christ knew they were not. "And when they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax? He said, Yes."
"And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their own sons or from strangers? Peter said to Him, From strangers. Jesus said to him, Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you" (Matthew 17:24-27).
Seriously note these questions! Why did our Savior Jesus Christ, being a human being, tell Peter "the sons are free"? What compelled Jesus Christ to say such words during this incident? Is there any special purpose for doing so? How come Jesus Christ revealed to Peter that those who serve in collecting the temple tax were sons of bondage? Why did Jesus Christ have Peter stop and think about this? Why did Jesus Christ have concern and did not want to offend the sons of bondage? Can your mind grasp this attitude of spirit that was working in Jesus Christ's life?
Remember, being a human being, Jesus Christ our Saviour is demonstrating the right attitude for love. The kind of love that is outgoing concern away from self. Although Christ and His servant Peter were not bound, but free, Christ still used this example to teach. Jesus Christ used this situation to teach His saints the right kind of love to have, for those who are not free.