A Target on His Back

Jesus was very busy — doing one good deed after another.

People who had been knocked down in life were being helped back up. The broken and ill were being made whole again. The suffering were being relieved of their hurt and pain. With all this going on, one would think that it would be hard to question Jesus’ heart, or his power and purpose.

But instead of resolving all the questions about Jesus, all this simply served to put a target on his back. His mom and brothers came to proclaim him a crazy person and declare him incompetent. The religious teachers explained it all as the work of Beelzebul — Satan.

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons” (‭Mark‬ ‭3‬:‭20-22,‬ NIV).

Have you ever sincerely, with all the right intentions, tried to do something good? Maybe you thought to yourself, “This is really great!” And then you discovered that all your good work was only going to bring intense criticism. Doing the right things in God’s eyes sometimes invites the people of this world to put a target on our backs and throw a lot of darts.

Not fun, is it? And it certainly couldn’t have been fun for Jesus either. But one thing it does tell you is that your Savior understands from experience what it’s like to go through trials like this.

You have a Savior who has been tested and tempted in the same ways you have. His heart is full of patience, empathy and most of all, forgiveness. When we get discouraged, or hurt or angry, or even when we are tempted to retaliate, we need a Savior like Jesus.

Because we can trust that Jesus has the power to heal our wounded hearts too.

Our Bible reading for Tuesday, February 17, is Exodus 21:1 – 22:31, Mark 2:18 – 3:30 and Proverbs 5:1-14.

Jesus, thank you for coming down to this earth to be my Savior. It helps so much to know that you have experienced the things I am experiencing. It encourages my heart to know that you will forgive my sinful responses to the sin of others. It strengthens my resolve to continue doing what is right to know that you will heal my wounds.

Header image based on "On Target" by ViZZZual.com, CC By 2.0

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I'm married to my beautiful wife Julie and have five kids whose names all begin with the letter A. I'm a pastor at CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, AZ. I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, and my grandkids. Huge Arizona Cardinals fan! Reading, hiking, camping, travel, and fishing are my top 5 downtime pleasures.

One thought on “A Target on His Back”

  1. Our Bible reading for Tuesday, February 17, is Exodus 21:1 – 22:31, Mark 2:18 – 3:30 and Proverbs 5:1-14.

    Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” (‭Mark‬ ‭2‬:‭27-28‬ NIV)

    Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.” (‭Mark‬ ‭3‬:‭28-30‬ NIV)

    Heavenly Father, you bless us with all things you do. You set apart a day for us to be with you. Every week we praise you, but it’s not enough. We sin against you more times than there are stars in the sky. We need your grace, we need your discipline. You gave us the perfect example. The Son of Man. Thank you from this world where your love transcends the boundaries of our sinful flesh. You bring us closer to you, you gave us the Christ to make this possible. Please bless all my brothers and sisters. Help them to continue to honor you in all they do. Give them the compassion to help others if they begin to fall. Just Jesus did for me, for them, and for all that will a Savior into their hearts.

    You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or turn my ear to my instructors. And I was soon in serious trouble in the assembly of God’s people.” (‭Proverbs‬ ‭5‬:‭12-14‬ NIV)

    Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (‭Mark‬ ‭3‬:‭35‬ NIV)

    ~Paul Montenieri


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