The terminologies used in the Bible mostly appear to be the same as defined in the dictionary. But in the real sense, the scripture conveys an idea just opposite to the perceptions of this world. Despite Jesus telling us that “blessed are the meek,” we still believe that the people who have influence, wealth, muscle power, and strength are the people blessed by God. We think that the despised, ignored, and ill-treated people are the cursed people. People misunderstand that they are forsaken by God when their suffering is prolonged. Either people think that the believer’s life should be full of blessings, or that it must be full of sorrows. If we do not understand His perspective, then neither the blessings He bestows nor the suffering He allows would help accomplish His purpose in our lives.
We usually love others only when they are good to us. When things go against our wishes, we become rigid and are easily frustrated. But Jesus asks us to be nice to everyone irrespective of how they treat us. When we struggle to comply with His instructions, we approach God too with the same attitude. When we receive blessings from Him, we are happy, and when we do not receive what we want, we show our frustration to Him. Scripture says that
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.Philippians 4:4-5
Is it possible to rejoice in God in an unfavourable situation? Can we be gentle to people who harm us? It is possible only when we love God and trust Him completely. He is the only one worthy of relying on, because He is good to us all the time. If our present situation appears to be critical, it does mean that God is still working on it for our good. Only when we love God would we understand how He changes those seemingly bad things for our good.
A Case Study
The Canaanite woman heard about Jesus and believed that He could deliver her daughter from the clutches of the evil spirit. She knew that Jesus was the only one who could heal her daughter. Most people do not come to Jesus by believing Him as the only source, but to try Him as they have tried so many other mediums and sources. In other words, they do not know how to differentiate Jesus from the other mediums that exist in this world.
Knowing her determination, Jesus did not answer her at once. When our determination makes Jesus calm, sometimes we lose that determination and stop believing in Him. Jesus never stops His work mid-way, but it is we who stop Him. Jesus’ calmness added boldness to the people who surrounded Him to project themselves as close associates of Jesus. They thought that Jesus was unwilling to answer her prayer and asked Jesus to get rid of her. They did not appreciate her for addressing Jesus as the Son of David. They were irritated by her unceasing cry for help. But Jesus never gets irritated when we seek His help.
For he has not despised or scornedPsalms 22:24
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.
As she called Him Son of David, Jesus responded to her that He came in the lineage of David to save only the lost sheep of Israel. Now the crowd found an even stronger reason to get rid of her, thinking that Jesus belonged to them and not to anyone else. To add score to their ignorance, Jesus further answered her that “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” Jesus wanted to bless that woman by projecting her as meek in the eyes of people who do not understand His way of working. The crowd would have marvelled at Jesus when He compared the woman to dogs. They were not happy to know that Jesus called them His children, but because He called her dog. We deprive our sonship when we think that the meek are the cursed. The woman replied to Him that the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.
A Paradigm Shift
To our surprise, the Canaanite woman did not mind Jesus calling her a dog, but at the same time confessed her faith that God is the one who feeds those dogs. As she addressed Jesus, Son of David, she already accepted Him as God of Israel, yet she believed that He was the one who feeds her too. The crowd did not understand the responsibility of the Creator in protecting everyone that He has created. Christians think that Jesus is exclusively for them, and they knowingly conceal the truth that Jesus died for all people.
Even today, He redeems the lost ones and preserves them to inherit eternity. This meek woman did not allow her social standing to keep her out of God’s purview. Knowing that she is a dog, she did not want to lose His provisions. This faith made her His daughter, and she became an heir in His Kingdom. But the crowd lost their relationship with God and became the ones that ate the crumbs that fell from their master’s table.
The amount of love and trust she had in God did not allow her to feel shameful about her vulnerable condition. If we love God, we will not allow the difficult situation to become a barrier but a channel to receive God’s mercy. God made His Son, Jesus, vulnerable to the mocking of onlookers. Jesus loved His Father and did not feel ashamed of His despised condition, but He felt happy in accomplishing the purpose of God.
For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:2
The crowd shouted at Bartimaeus when he called Jesus the Son of David. People judged a man born blind as a sinner. The people around Jesus did not give way to the paralyzed man in the cot to reach Jesus. Simon the Pharisee viewed Mary Magdalene from a different angle. The crowd sought the permission of Jesus to stone a woman to death. Ultimately the mob released Barabbas and handed over Jesus to die on the cross. Do not be carried away by the wrong doctrines, fearing that they are many. Do not be afraid of people who think that the cursed are the meek, but come to Him who says, blessed are the meek.
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:Matthew 21:42
“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?