Humiliation – “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Isaiah 53:3

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Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta
1841–1920

John 18

19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. 20 Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

 

 

I read an article this week about Billy Connolly in which he talked about his difficult childhood in Glasgow. One of his stories was about how grim one of the schools that he attended had been.

A particular teacher, whom he disliked intensely, was so unpleasant that she actually called one of the young Billy’s spectacle-wearing classmates “four-eyes”. Yes, a TEACHER. A teacher humiliating a young pupil.

How insensitive, as well, obviously, as being totally unprofessional.

It’s how we expect some kids to behave: picking on the “runt”, or the ginger-haired lad, the child with glasses, the one who is a bit slow in thinking, the fat girl. Humiliating, tormenting, abusing.

Sadly, it can carry over to adult life. There are many bullies who have left the playground for the workplace. There are many who humiliate those in an inferior job position, hurting and distressing them.

Christ was put to shame at his birth. The Christian belief is that God could do anything, so the question is asked, “Why was Christ made so lowly by being born in a stable and laid upon a manger?”

Herod sent out soldiers to kill him. Jesus was saved from death as a mere baby by a miracle.
Christ was rejected by his own town’s synagogue. He read from Isaiah and the people rejected him. Jesus stated that no prophet was accepted in his own town. The people were filled with anger and tried to kill him.
Christ was put to shame for doing miracles such as casting out demons.
Jesus was rejected by his own people in favour of Barabbas, a criminal.  He was then spat upon, beaten and mocked by the Roman soldiers.
The ultimate form of humiliation, Christ was crucified while being mocked.

The Humiliation of Christ is a Calvinist doctrine that consists of the rejection and suffering that Jesus received and accepted.

Within it are included his incarnation, suffering, death and burial with sometimes a fifth aspect included – descent into hell.

We tend to focus on the physical pain that Christ experienced at the crucifixion so sometimes we overlook the humiliation that Jesus went through for us and therefore can fail to appreciate his full sacrifice.
Jesus suffered heart rending humiliation at the hands of the Pharisees, Herod, the Soldiers and the mob.
In the courtyard of the High Priest they spat in his face, struck him with their fists, slapped him and sarcastically taunted him, saying, “Prophecy to us , Christ. Who hit you?”
When Jesus did not perform any miracles for Herod, Herod and his soldiers mocked and ridiculed him and sent him back to Pilate, where the soldiers increased their mockery by clothing him in a purple robe and pushing a crown of thorns onto his head, bowing before him and in pretence regaling him again and again with “Hail King of the Jews”.
Even on the cross Jesus was taunted and ridiculed. The chief priests, the mob and the thieves mocked that, the Christ, the Saviour of Israel – Could not save himself!
Little did his persecutors know that Jesus could have retaliated and utterly humiliated them by turning them into toads or worse. But Jesus knew that humiliation like pain and suffering is temporary and he was going to his Glory.
If ever you are humiliated for your faith, remember Jesus himself was unmercifully humiliated, and that through your bearing of humiliation , you stand tall to him and someday will be comforted and rewarded by him.

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Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic

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