My name is David Sorn, and I’m the Lead Pastor here.
You know one of my favorite Bible passages is in 1 Corinthians 9 where the Apostle Paul says, “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To the Gentiles, I became like the Gentiles”
He’s saying, “I’m going to do whatever it takes, to understand the culture around me, so I can reach them for Christ.”
And all of us, as missionaries, or ambassadors, to the people around us, want to do the same.
And I believe one of the ways we do that in our current culture is by boldly inviting people to church at Christmastime.
Because it’s a significantly easier ask to invite someone to church on Christmas than it is to invite them to a regular Sunday
We know that, for now anyway, people in America are just more open to going to church on Christmas and Easter.
It’s what they did as kids, and many of them have fond memories of it.
And so we want to use these next few days as an opportunity to invite friends & family to come and actually hear the truth behind the Christmas season…
…that Jesus Christ came to earth to show his love by dying for their sins.
SO, I urge you: have someone sitting next you on Thursday or Friday for a Christmas service.
A friend, a sibling, a parent, a neighbor. Someone.
This is a great time to take a Spiritual risk and trust God to move.
CHRIST WAS MOCKED
(LOST & FOUND SERIES SLIDE)
Okay, let’s get into our passage for this morning.
We are just about to Christmas, and here we are as a church, going through the Book of Luke, and we find ourselves on Good Friday, a few days before Easter
If it’s your first time here today, we are teaching straight through the Book of Luke about Jesus’ life.
And we’ve reached the day of his crucifixion.
Jesus has been arrested and is at his first trials.
The clock has ticked past midnight now, and it’s the very early hours of Friday morning…maybe 1am, 2am?
Let’s take a look at our passage…just 3 verses today.
(Luke 22:63-65) – NIV
63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65 And they said many other insulting things to him.
Now, the Gospels tell us that Jesus is actually going to be mocked 3 times throughout this Friday
And since this is a short passage, and because Luke doesn’t spend much time at all on the other 2 mockings (and thus we won’t cover them later in Luke)…I want to look at all 3 mockings of Christ today…
Chronologically, the first mocking is our passage for today, from Luke 22.
Jesus will face a total of 6 quick trials from midnight to 9am.
3 Jewish trials followed by 3 Roman ones.
As our passage begins, Jesus has just finished the 2nd of the Jewish trials at the House of the High Priest, Ciaphas
Luke doesn’t give us the details of what was said in this particular trial (he instead focuses on Peter denying Christ out in the courtyard)
But Matthew, another chronicler of Jesus’ life tells us what happened inside at this 2nd trial.
Let me share with you just a portion of it because it will help our passage in Luke make more sense
(Matthew 26:63b-64) – NIV
The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.
64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.
And so Jesus makes this incredible prophecy about how He will come back one day.
And so if you go back to our passage in Luke now, and you see the guards mocking him, saying, “Prophesy! Who hit you!”
They’re mocking him because he had just prophesied about his return.
And they’re saying, “See, you’re no prophet! You can’t even tell us who hit you!”
And yet, he could, right? He just chose not to.
There is deep irony here because the very fact that they’re mocking Jesus IS a fulfillment of one of his earlier prophecies.
The first message we ever did in this building on the book of Luke was about that exact prophecy:
(Luke 18:31-32) – NIV
31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32 He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him;
Jesus prophesied this exact thing would happen, and as it happens, they mock him, saying that he’s “no prophet”
And not even that, Jesus had just also correctly prophesied that Peter would deny Him 3 times before the rooster crowed, and that JUST happened as well.
Little did these guards know that they were mocking the greatest “prophet” the world has ever seen.
Okay, so that’s the first mocking of Christ.
The second mocking of Christ occurs after the 6th trial of Jesus (his last meeting with the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate):
We see this one in the book of Matthew
(Matthew 27:27-31) – NIV
27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
Jesus has already been flogged as well at this point, so he’s in incredible pain.
And this group of 20 to 30 soldiers mocks him mercilessly
They put a scarlet robe on him, the color of royalty
Instead of giving him the crown of real king, these soldiers inflict more pain on Jesus by giving him a crown of thorns.
Then, instead of the ornate scepter of a king, they give Jesus a weak reed as a staff
And they bow before him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
This is mockery at its worst.
And worst yet, their mockery soon turns to violence, and they spit on him and strike him with the very staff they just made him hold
This is a complete misunderstanding of who this man is.
They don’t think he’s a king, but in truth, He’s the King of Kings.
And then the third mockery of Christ comes while He is on the cross
We see this in the Gospel of Mark
(Mark 15:29-32) – NIV.
29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
Now, one of those crucified with him does change his mind, based on what he sees, and he believes…
But the rest continue to mock…thinking they know how this story will end.
But, of course, they don’t.
WE WILL BE MOCKED
So what do we with these 3 mocking scenes?
Why are they in Scripture?
What do we need to learn and apply from them?
For one, as Christ’s followers, and imitators of Him, we must realize that we too, will be mocked for our faith.
There is something about us that can bring out a negative response in others.
Now, they may sound like an odd thing to say.
But think about it:
Jesus is not being mocked, or persecuted, or killed because he was mean, or sinful, or arrogant, or anything like that
He was kind, and truthful, and perfect…
…and yet mocked.
I’ve thought a lot about these passages over the years, in part, because they are deeply personal for me.
You know how we tend to look back on some of our greatest sins…
For me, some of those were in high school, before I knew Christ.
And I was… a mocker.
I mocked…those who followed Christ.
I mocked them for going to church, for wearing clothing about Jesus, or going to Christian camp, or whatever it was.
When I became a Christian, I literally went on an apology tour, asking forgiveness of these people whose faces are burned into my memory
And so I’ve asked myself many times, “Why did I mock them?”
And the answer for me, and I also believe for so many others in my shoes, is that these Christians made something deep within me feel uneasy.
They were so sure about their belief.
That they were going to heaven, and that I was wrong.
Wrong for how I was living my life.
And that set off a nerve within me.
I didn’t want to be wrong.
I didn’t want think about those deep things of life, like sin, and eternity…and you name it.
And so the best way I knew how to deal with that, was to mock them.
I guess I must have felt that if I could tear them down, then their words must not be true…or maybe then they wouldn’t be so bold in front of me in the future.
I think now today, based on what I know of God and His Word, that there is something deep within every soul that feels uneasy when they begin to understand that God wants all of them, but we aren’t giving it to Him.
People feel the conviction of God for their sins, but rather than repent, we lash out on those who would speak of such things, or subscribe to those beliefs.
And thus, any Christian who consistently walks out their faith, and better yet, talks about it, is going to be mocked.
When I was in college as a brand-new Christian, my freshmen floor gave me the nickname of “straight-edge”
And not because I ever made anyone feel bad for their partying, but they just couldn’t get over the fact that I didn’t go with them, and said it was because of Jesus.
So, in their discomfort with their own lives, they mocked me
But I didn’t let it phase me, because I had just been them, only months earlier.
Let me tell you something: If you’re not ever being mocked for your faith, you’re probably not doing something right.
And I’m not talking about those people who go on Social Media and scream their opinions about politics and everything else, and then get mocked.
I’m talking about just walking like Jesus and talking like Jesus.
I’m talking about not hiding your faith…not following at a distance (like we talked about last week)
If you just live out a normal Christian faith (without hiding), you’ll experience being mocked.
If you’re never mocked, or no one ever presses back about your beliefs, and you can’t even think of an example of that in the last few years, somethings not right with how you’re living out your faith.
I think some American Christians tend to falsely believe that there is this safe and neutral response where we just believe in Jesus, but keep our beliefs to ourself.
That’s not only unscriptural, it’s dangerous.
But so many of us are stuck here.
Rather than share the good news of salvation, many prefer to just sit back and show kindness to others hoping that one day they’ll ask us how to be saved (which they won’t)
But by never sharing the truth with people, and only showing them how kind we are, we end up sharing a false Gospel with people.
So many people are looking at you, and your nice family, and thinking, “Oh, to be a Christian, is to be kind, and nice, have your act together, and snowblow your neighbor’s driveway.”
And that’s not it at all.
You’re presenting a false gospel to people!
They’re getting heresy from your actions because your actions have no words to give your actions context
And we’re mostly doing that…because we’re afraid of being mocked.
But tell them the truth!
You’re a mess!
And the only reason you’re not completely a mess, is because Jesus died for you, saved you, and is working I you.
Or others of us, we just don’t even know enough non-believers to even be mocked in the first place.
We’re failing Jesus’ command of the great commission to make disciples, and we’ve instead surrounded ourselves in some sort of Christian enclave.
If you’re truly living out your faith, and your rubbing shoulders with non-believers…and you’re actually talking about the forgiveness of Jesus with people…
You will be mocked sometimes.
But you will also be winning people for Christ!
WE FORGIVE BECAUSE WE WERE THE MOCKERS WHO RECEIVED FORGIVENESS
And when you are mocked, respond like Christ
Notice that in every passage we looked at today, Jesus does not fight back.
He doesn’t say, “I’ll show you”
He doesn’t say, “Wait until you see my revenge!”
He walks with the heart of forgiveness.
He doesn’t say much at all during any of the 3 mockings
One of the only things we hear him say directly to his torturers is, “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing”
Jesus demonstrates that proper response to hate is not more hate, but love
And so we respond to our mockery, with love and forgiveness.
And not just because Jesus modeled that for us, but because Jesus did that for us
This is important…see, you won’t find the strength to forgive those who come against you unless you first see yourself as one like them.
You can’t forgive the mocker until you see that, you too, were a mocker.
And maybe you in your past mocked the followers of Christ like I did.
Or maybe you, also like me, have mocked Christ himself.
Do we not do so when we come here and we sing out to Him, “You are all I need! I surrender all to you”
And by Monday morning we live as if He doesn’t exist.
Is that not mockery?
Or we tell Him that He is holy and we want to live differently than the rest of the world, but then we watch shows that we would NEVER watch if he was sitting on the couch with us (and He kind of is!)…or we speak about others in a way we would never speak if He was standing next to us
Is that not mockery?
To mock is to imitate or pretend in a ridiculous way…
And that too often is my life and your life.
We are supposed to be imitators of him, but it feels more like mockery.
But the love of Christ is so deep, that He looks even on us, the mockers, with forgiveness and mercy.
And that’s how we must find the strength to do it for those who mock us.
Wanting them to know the forgiveness we know
You know the Golden rule? “Treat others like you want to be treated”?
The more important rule, or principle, we can derive from the NT teachings is what can be called The Platinum Rule: “Treat others like Christ treated you”
Let me give you an example of this: Over the last few years, I’ve read a couple of fantastic books by a man named Don Richardson.
My favorite is his book “Peace Child”
But I also read a good book by him called, “Lords of the Earth”
That book (also like Peace Child) was about missionaries who brought the Good News of Jesus to the cannibalistic tribes of Papua New Guinea in the 1960’s
Think about this.
Most of us are too afraid to bring up Jesus at work because we don’t want HR to talk to us
These missionaries were bringing the Gospel to people who want to kill them…and devour them. Incredible faith.
And sure enough, some of the missionaries were killed by the cannibalistic tribesmen.
And yet, more missionaries kept coming.
Some even came with their children to minister to the nearby tribes that weren’t quite as violent.
One such family had 4 children…ages 1 to 9.
And while that family was being transported to a village by a small airplane, the pilot got confused in a valley and accidentally crashed the plane
And only the 9-year-old boy survived.
Unfortunately, this 9-year-old boy was discovered by the same cannibalistic tribe that had just murdered missionaries not long before.
The tribesmen were baffled that these people KEPT coming to spread this message to them…even though they were killing them.
And so one of the elder tribesman decided that he would protect the boy
And even when armed men from his tribe wanted to kill the boy, he stood in front of the small boy and refused to move.
Well, two days later, as helicopters roamed the area, they spotted a small American boy along the hillside.
The rescuers were shocked that he was alive.
As the 9-year-old boy sprinted to be rescued, the very first thing he said was, “A man who lives up on the hill saved me and took good care of me!”
The rescuers, who were also missionaries, then left gifts and supplies to say thanks…and show these “enemies” that they loved them. They loved them.
Many days later, other missionaries dared to go back to this same village, trusting in God that he had began to warm the cold hearts of the tribal people
And they told the tribesmen that they forgave them even though they murdered their missionary friends.
And then…the tribesman shockingly said, “You keep coming to tell us something…will you teach us what it is?”
And the missionaries began to teach them the Gospel.
Within 2 years, 35 of the tribesman became followers of Christ and were baptized.
Including some of the men who murdered the original missionaries.
And get this, after their baptism, they got out of the water and took communion together with the missionaries
And as a table, they used the wing of the airplane that crashed when only the 9 year old boy survived.
And the tribesmen wanted to use that airplane wing as a symbol…to thank the missionaries…that they kept coming!
They didn’t go home and fear…they didn’t give up
And that they loved them…even though they were fiercely opposing the missionaries.
So keep going.
Go out in boldness this week.
Even if you get mocked.
Many of you will invite friends and even family this week to hear about Jesus.
Others of you will boldly speak of how much you love Jesus and what He has done for you.
Be brave, be bold.
But even if you are mocked, don’t stop.
Don’t give up hope.
Jesus went forward, despite the mocking, because what He was going to accomplish was worth it.
And we go forward because what God may do through our boldness, the saving of a life for all of eternity, is absolutely worth any mocking, that we too, may incur.
And if along the way, people do indeed treat you harshly for your message, please…
Respond, with kindness.
Respond with love…and forgiveness.
Because that’s what Christ did for us
And it’s Christ’s love, along with His message, that changes the world,
Let me pray.
(Give Gospel in prayer)
GOSPEL: God keeps coming for you.
Repeat after me
I confess to you, that I have sinned against you.
But God I believe, that you sent your Son Jesus, to take my place
And God I thank you, for forgiving my sins.
And now I commit, to following you, with my life.
As everyone still has their eyes closed, for those of you standing up, you just made the most important decision of your life, and I believe that requires some more information…
So here’s what we’re going to do to get you that…as everyone has their eyes closed, I want you, in just a second, to walk back out to the lobby where it will be quiet.
You won’t walk out there alone.
There are others standing with you, and our follow-up team is going to walk out at the same time with you
And I, and our follow-up team are going to get you some extremely important resources & next steps to get you started on the most important journey of your life.
If you’re part of this church, and your friend or family member is standing up right now, PLEASE come out there with them.
All right, you can all go now.
As they’re walking, I’m going to thank God in prayer. Let’s pray
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
You may use this material all you like! We only ask that you do not charge a fee and that you quote the source and not say it is your own.