1/9 Matthew 26:67-68

67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, "Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?"

To understand what is happening in this verse, we need to know a bit about the Jewish expectation of the Messiah. The Jews believed that when the Messiah came He would know things without the aid of sight or hearing (Isaiah 11:3). The Greek word "Christ" is the same as the Hebrew word for "Messiah." By calling Jesus "you Christ," they were mocking His claim to be the Messiah.

In Mark's account of this event he tells us an additional detail. The Jewish leaders covered Jesus' face before they struck Him (Mark 14:65). Jesus would not know from where the next blow would come. Then they commanded Jesus to tell the name of the person that struck Him. It was a way to ridicule His claim to be Messiah. What control Jesus had over His spirit! He could have named the person that struck Him, his sins, and every convicting detail of his life (John 4:17-18). He took the abuse in silence (Isaiah 53:7). He could have annihilated them with one angel. Instead, He loved them enough to silently make His way to the cross to save their souls and ours.

If we live a godly life in Christ, we will face abuse (2 Timothy 3:12). Will our lives be ones that follow the example of Jesus and bear persecution with silent dignity, or will we lash out? We must expect that the world will misunderstand us and treat us with contempt. It is blinded by sin. But let us rise above by the power of the Holy Spirit and see our situations from God's perspective. Our light and temporary troubles are earning us a far greater weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17). Remember what Jesus endured.

Prayer: Lord, when persecution comes, help me to rejoice in the fact that I suffer for You. Help me to bear it with patience by remembering the example You set.