I offered . . . My cheeks to those who pulled out My beard;
I did not hide My face from mocking and spitting.
(Voluntarily offering Himself to His captors,
submitting Himself to their evil intents,
Jesus not only suffered physical pain when they slapped Him across His face
and when they literally pulled out His beard,
but He also suffered the emotional indignity and insult
of His beard being plucked out, of being spit upon,
and of being bombarded with mocking insults.
For a middle eastern man, any indignity to the beard was a high level of dishonor.
And for anyone, being spit upon and enduring searing insults
is deeply insulting and offensive.
Jesus not only bore physical pain in His substitutionary death for us,
a death we actually deserved as payment for sin,
but He also voluntarily endured the mocking verbal and physical insults.
When we experience embarrassing or humiliating situations,
our first response is often to angrily retaliate and respond in kind.
Or, we retreat in shame and mortified disgrace,
taking in and receiving the insult as if it is truth about us.
Jesus did none of that. Rather, He simply endured the attacks,
secure enough in Himself that the insults did not cause Him to respond.
As we try to follow Jesus' example, neither do we have to retaliate
or attack in kind, but, rather, we can make a choice not to receive
such verbal assaults on our character and name.
We can choose, instead, a response that is without resistance to the insult,
but keeps focused on our mission and high calling
of representing God in that situation and to those people.)
May the Lord richly bless you this day!
In Christ's love,