Summary: 3rd in 5 lessons prepared and delivered at InSight - Discovery Christian Church’s Believer’s Service.
What Would God Say About Handling Injustice?
Don’t you just hate it when you suffer unjustly? Maybe it’s something small like being shortchanged at a drive-through window, or told one price but then upon installation given another. Or may it’s more significant than that.. Maybe somebody cheated you out of a large portion of money.. Maybe you play by the rules and you sit the bench while somebody that is unsubmissive plays all the time. Maybe your boss is treating you unfairly due to their own jealousy or incompetence. Maybe you’re going through a divorce and it’s not your fault.. But you’re still losing your mate & the visitation rights with your children seem so inequitable. Maybe some drunk slammed into your child’s car and the drunk walked away but your son or daughter will never walk again. Maybe you have some disease or can’t have children or have made sound financial decisions but you still face bankruptcy.. There’s a million things that just make us want to scream, “It’s all so unfair!
The last hours of Jesus Christ may depict history’s greatest unjust treatment. Jesus was treated unjustly by many on his final night before the crucifixion. He was a victim of lies, deceit, physical abuse, cowardice, desertion, betrayal, manipulation.. Yet He never once lost his composure or sense of purpose. So, let’s see how Jesus was mistreated, then how he responded and finally apply some lessons on how we can confront injustice in our lives.
I. THE INJUSTICE THAT JESUS ENDURED:
First, let’s look at how Jesus’ friends treated him this night. The disciples, Jesus’ hand picked leaders, had been with him for three years. He had poured his life into them during this time loving, teaching and supporting them. He had also told them that this night, Thursday night, was the night that he would be betrayed, tried and killed. So, you would think that their thoughts would be solely fixed on this man who had been their master and teacher for three years. And yet we find it wasn’t so. His disciples disappointed him deeply.
It was the custom in Jesus’ day for someone to perform the routine of washing feet. It was such a normal cultural custom that someone should of fulfilled the task without even being asked. You see, when they ate back in that day, they reclined at the table and the person next to you had his feet at your elbow, just about in your face. So your neighbors feet would be very visible and very smellable. Naturally, that made it very important that they were clean. They paid as much attention to washing feet as we do to washing hands before a meal.
Why did that happen? Why, didn’t someone, other than Jesus, grab the basin and the towel? Well, it happened because the disciples had an attitude problem: they were more concerned about rights and superiority than they were about Jesus. Before this night on a couple of occasions, the disciples’ ugly head of pride had surfaced. They repeatedly got into arguments over who was the greatest. Luke 22:24 tells us that even AFTER the institution of the Lord’s Supper they continued to argue about who is the greatest among them. Is it any wonder then that no one volunteers to wash feet? Please remember this principle: You will never serve Jesus properly when you are worried about your position of importance. (repeat)
But there was an even more evil attitude than pride on the part of one of the 12- their was betrayal. John 13:2- “The evening meal was being served and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.” Judas has already decided to turn Jesus in. Now, if you were Jesus, knowing all of this: the pride, the treachery, would you have been quick to wash their feet? I mean here is Jesus, facing His greatest night of trial. He is going from this room to the Garden of Gethsemane. There He will be arrested, accused falsely, and in less than 24 hrs nailed to a tree. He is the victim of gross neglect. When Jesus needed the greatest comfort, He got none. When Jesus needed love, understanding and service, He got arrogant pride & treason.
Now only did his closest friends disappoint him but the religious leaders mistreated him. These were the leaders of God’s chosen people. Surely Jesus, God’s Son could depend on them? No. Not only did they not support him but they lied about him. The man who was the ring leader of this group was a man by the name of Caiaphas. Historians reveal Caiaphas to be a malicious, insecure, politically power-hungry man. One who cared nothing about the people but everything about his position and standing. And this man took his evil, malicious nature out on Jesus.