Refusing Jesus

It’s Christmastime and although large swathes of the world enjoy the holiday, fewer and fewer remember the reason for the season.

Refusing Jesus

What about you? It is unlikely that the historicity of the man called Jesus is your debate. This widely documented ancient figure came with great expectations – and met them. His countrymen could detail all sorts of prophecies that their Messiah (Christ) would fulfill. He fulfilled them in full view yet was largely refused.

Why? He wasn’t happy to “ride shotgun” to the establishment. He wasn’t willing to prop up those in control in their corruption. He came to bring justice to the nations. Born in Bethlehem, performing miracles, fulfilling Scripture – He had all the credentials, but they refused Him because He wouldn’t use His authority on their terms.

John chapter 7 recounts the efforts of the establishment to silence Him when He exposes their antagonism. Despite their protestations, the common people accept Him because of His Messianic credentials. They wonder, if He isn’t the Christ, who could be? (John 7:31)

The reason given by the educated religious elites why Jesus should be rejected, was based on His origin. He was from Galilee and the Christ is to be from Bethlehem (John 7:42). But, you say, He was from Bethlehem, and you would be right! It seems they were willfully ignorant and lazy in their haste to disregard Him. They should have asked some questions. They should have done some homework. His upbringing in Nazareth obscured His Bethlehemite origins to all who wished to refuse Him. As Jesus Himself taught earlier in the chapter, in verse 17, honest intent is a prerequisite to learning God’s truth. They were too willing to promote the narrative they wanted.

What’s your excuse? Do you recognize Jesus as the Son of God from heaven, sent here to be the Saviour of the world (1 John 4:14)? Are you one of those who, with a pure and honest heart, have come to appreciate the love of God demonstrated in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ; who wonder, who else but Jesus could be my Saviour and take my place on the cross?

The power of a little intellectual pride is strong, as is the willingness to overlook the facts we don’t care to admit. Throughout history, many have disparaged and sought to discredit Christ and His claims. To what end and for what purpose? Why refuse Him? Is the baby in Bethlehem okay, but not the God from heaven? Are the implications of His authority over your life too close to handle?

The religious elites won. They crucified Him. But if so, why are we still talking about Him? Why remember His birthday 2,000 years later? Was He just a fraud? Or is He really the Saviour? The only sacrifice for sin? The Resurrected Lord who is the ultimate Judge of all the earth?

This Christmas, receive Jesus. He is the Son of God from heaven. He is the Saviour, the only sacrifice and the Resurrected Lord. He does have power on earth to forgive sins based on your trust in Him. Receive God’s gift to your eternal benefit!

“To all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children” (John 1:12 NET).