WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 14, 2022
TOPIC: THE MOCKERS OF JESUS
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again” (Luke 18:31-33 New King James Version).
One of the sad features of the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago was His mockery. But it wasn’t something that came to Him as a surprise. He predicted it and prepared the mind of His disciples for it. But they didn’t understand what He was talking about just as they didn’t understand all He said about His death and resurrection. Nevertheless, everything He said came to pass.
Luke 18:31-33 says, “Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again” (New King James Version). Matthew 20:17-19 and Mark 10:32-34 also record this.
However, see what follows immediately in Luke 18:34: “But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken” (New King James Version).
Maybe they didn’t understand because they couldn’t imagine that what Jesus said could ever happen or it was something they never wanted to happen. For instance, Matthew 16:21 records that Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes. He said He would be killed and raised on the third day. But Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” (Verse 22). However, Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men” (verse 23 New King James Version).
Also in Matthew 17:22-23, Jesus told His disciples while they were in Galilee that He (the Son of Man) was about to be betrayed into the hands of men, they would kill Him, and on the third day, He would be raised up. On this occasion, they were exceedingly sorrowful.
Just as Jesus had said, He was betrayed and arrested. From then, His mockery began. Jesus was not only crucified, He was also mocked as He went through His trial and execution. His mockers must have seen this as a celebration of their victory or they derived joy in it.
Those who arrested Jesus mocked Him. “Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, ‘Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?’ And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him” (Luke 22:63-65 New King James Version). What a humiliating experience! If only these mockers knew they were maltreating their Saviour. But they didn’t know what they were doing!
After the Jewish Council had taken Jesus before Pilate, he sent Him to Herod because He belonged to his jurisdiction. Jesus also suffered mockery after Herod had questioned Him but He didn’t answer. Meanwhile, the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. Luke 23:11-12 says, “Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other” (New King James Version).
Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate. But after saying that he found Him innocent, Pilate succumbed to the blackmail and pressure of the Jewish leaders, released Barabbas to them, scourged Jesus, and delivered Him to be crucified. Then, the Roman soldiers took their turn to mock Jesus.
Matthew 27:27-31 says, “Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified” (New King James Version). This is also recorded in Mark 15:16-20. In addition, John 19:2-3 talks about the soldiers twisting a crown of thorns and putting it on His head and putting on Him a purple robe. They also hailed Him as the King of the Jews and struck Him with their hands.
Meanwhile, His mockery continued at 9 am (third hour) when He was crucified. The inscription of His accusation, THE KING OF THE JEWS, was written on the cross above His head (Mark 15:25-26). Luke 23:36-38 says, “The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, ‘If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.’ And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (New King James Version).
Having achieved their goal of getting Jesus crucified, the chief priests and the scribes and elders joined in mocking Him. They said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God’” (Matthew 27:42-43 New King James Version). Their mockery of Jesus is also recorded in Mark 15:31-32a.
Passers-by blasphemed Him. They wagged their heads and said He who could destroy the temple and build it in three days should save Himself and come down from the cross (Mark 15:29-30). The robbers crucified with Him also mocked or reviled Him (Matthew 27:44; Mark 15:32b).
But Luke’s account says that it was one of the two criminals who mocked Him while the other rebuked his partner and said they had received the due reward of their deeds but Jesus had done nothing wrong. He then called Jesus Lord and asked Him to remember him when He came into His kingdom. Jesus assured him that that day he would be with Him in Paradise (Luke 23:39-43)
Jesus suffered mockery for your sake and died to save you. It was bad that the Saviour of the world had to go through this but it was necessary for your salvation. Jesus was mocked as He had said. He was killed as He had said. And He rose from the dead as He had said.
Unfortunately, some people are still mocking Jesus even as we celebrate Easter. They have no excuse for doing this. I hope you are not one of such people. Don’t mock your Saviour. Open your heart to Him. Accept Him as your Lord and Saviour now when there is the opportunity. There is no room for salvation after death or after the return of Jesus, for He is coming back. Nobody knows when He will die or Jesus will come back. Give your life to Jesus now.
The Bible records that when Jesus died, some Roman soldiers testified that He was truly the Son of God. We don’t know if they were part of the mockery of Jesus earlier. “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’” (Matthew 27:51-54 New King James Version). Mark 15:38-39 and Luke 23:44-47 say a similar thing. “So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, ‘Certainly this was a righteous Man!’” (Luke 23:47 New King James Version).
The Bible says blessed is the man who does not sit in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1). Scornful people are mockers. Jeremiah said He did not sit in the assembly of the mockers (Jeremiah 15:17). Jude 18 says there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their ungodly lusts. Don’t be among them.
This Easter, Don’t mock Jesus or join His mockers. Some of the mockers may come to Jesus later but you may not have the same opportunity. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I will not mock Jesus Christ but believe in Him. I will not sit in the assembly of mockers or in the seat of the scornful. Holy Spirit, as we celebrate Easter, convict all mockers of Jesus that they will accept Him as their Lord and Saviour.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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