Blessed… Why Are You Hitting Yourself?

And they answered, “He deserves to die!” 67 Then they spit in his face and beat him. They hit him 68 and said, “Prophesy for us, Christ! Who hit you” (Matthew 26:66b-68, Common English Bible)?

These guys are supposed to be the religious elite of their day in Hebrew society. They were the guys who strived to live by the letter of the law. They knew every aspect of the law, tried to follow it but even more than that, they expected everyone else to follow it, even in parts of the law where they themselves fall short.

Then there is this lesson. Well, this lesson and much of this chapter. In yesterday’s lesson, they were willing to accept lies as testimony that testimony meant being able to convict Jesus, get him executed and out of their hair.

When I read this lesson, particularly the part that says, “They hit him and said, “Prophesy for us, Christ! Who hit you,” my immediate thought was “How childish.” 

As I continued to ponder the lesson my mind went back to Saturday mornings when I was little. At least on occasion, my sister and I would run into my parent’s bedroom early on Saturday morning, probably earlier than they would have liked, for a bit of fun and laughter and my dad would tickle us. As part of the fun, my dad would grab me by the wrist and lightly slap my thigh with my own hand. He would ask, “Why are you hitting yourself?” Of course, I wasn’t. He was using my hand to “hit” me. I remember playing the same game with my kids when they were small.

That is where the “High Council” has sunk, playing childlike games, childish games with a man they wanted to be executed and were not going to rest until it could be so.

I never considered my dad’s game bullying. I never felt as though I was bullying my boys (in fairness, they may have seen it differently). I didn’t consider that “game” bullying. Perhaps it was because I was never bullied as a kid. The first time I was challenged to think about that was while watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory when Leonard is talking about his high school bully.  He says, “Yes I know why I was hitting myself.”

My mind when back to that old episode of Big Bang Theory as I was thinking about this lesson. The Pharisees were not only being childish, they are being bullies. They hit a man who could not defend himself. I think that is the definition of a bully.

To me, this part of this chapter serves as a great reminder. When we have the upper hand, it is pretty easy for us to sink into childish behavior. Perhaps it is even easier to become a bully. Neither is what Jesus calls us to do.

We are supposed to be about love. We are called to live. Childishness and bullying just don’t fit the bill.

Have a great day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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