..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Silence of Jesus: Herod, Pilate & The Spirit of Mockery-- Part 3

"Then he [Herod] questioned Him in many words
but Jesus answered him nothing." Luke 23:9

Your character determines if the spirit of
mockery will find a home in you. Your
character also determines how you will respond
to the spirit of mockery.

The final days of Jesus earthly sojourn overwhelm
us with the brutal accounts of mockery flung
at our innocent and graceful Lord. It is here
that we find strength and learn what it means
to stand in the face of mockery and to react in
the Spirit of Jesus, the One who, in all ways,
has gone before us to show us the Way.

Those who mock, mock most loudly and publicly
when they feel retaliation is not possible. Part
of the spirit of mockery is the false feeling of
superiority. Mockery thrives on a false sense
of power and a skewed view of reality.

Satan hates God because God rules in humility.
God allows human freedom, He does not parade
His power and poke us with it. Satan believes that
power should be wielded with an iron fist. If he had
power, he would wield it in a completely different
way then how God does. How he handles the limited
power he is currently allowed shows us that clearly.
Be careful with how you handle power! Who are
you modeling, Jesus or the Evil One?

Satan feeds on causing people to fall and feeding
on the strife, vengeful feelings and hatred that
is often produced when people react wrongly
to being mocked. The most wonderful thing
is this: Satan got nothing to eat when Jesus
was mocked, for there was none of these
things in the heart of Jesus when mockery
tried to belittle Him. In the midst of His
worst trials, nothing could take away from
who He was or is!

The spirit of mockery has no legitimate
strength or authority. It has to pump itself
up by means of humiliation--by causing
others to look less or be diminished in
its own warped eyes. Thus, it is a
manipulative and lying spirit. When one
has the true authority of God, there is
such a solid knowing of one's place that
there is no need to demean another.

Let us look at the gospel accounts of
Jesus' final days and the spirit of
mockery that tried to act against him.
The pages of the gospels are filled with
accounts of mockery from every side.

Herod, the king, was glad that Jesus
was delivered into his domain for it
said, "he hoped to see some miracles
done by him" (Luke 23:8). In
Jesus Christ Superstar, Herod
sings, "Prove to me that you're no fool,
walk across my swimming pool."

Such is the spirit of mockery. Mockery
is only impressed by a show of power
as it understands power. It wants
signs and wonders. It wants to see
miracles not so that it can believe, but
so that it can be entertained. Herod must
assume that Jesus will produce a miracle
at this most crucial moment to "save His

How little does Herod understand! Jesus
remains silent, but speaks and lives volumes
in and through that silence. The silence
inflames Herod to even more mockery for
it unnerves him. Jesus answers him nothing
because he will not comprehend: darkness
has not and cannot understand light, neither
can it overtake light.

Jesus had already appeared before Pilate,
where He had already stood victoriously
in the full and powerful silence of God's
response to the mockery of man. Herod
got no further in getting Christ to defend
Himself. Our Lord knew He was safely
and ultimately in the hands of His Father.

Although they would not admit it, both
Herod and Pilate were unnerved by
this silent Galilean. It is said, "And
the same day Pilate and Herod were
made friends for before they were at
enmity between themselves" (Luke 23: 12).

How interesting! These two leaders
needed to feel bolstered up by each
other so badly that they put aside
their differences. Strange and
dangerous bedfellows are made
when people band together
to save their egos. Here is
acknowledgement albeit, subconscious,
of God's greater authority. Deep, deep
within they must have sensed that
their "authority" was no match for the
One who had stood before them.
That kind of authority they had never
seen before. But the spirit of mockery
can never admit this, it must simply
find others who agree with it so that it
might feel strength in numbers and
reinforce its position.

The chief priests, scribes, and elders
of Israel also mocked (Matthew 27:41).
Religious spirits always do so, and do so
with great fury. They dared Jesus to
come down off the cross and perform a
miracle, indeed--they begged for him to
destroy the temple and raise it up in
three days. They tried to throw His
Words back in His face, but it was only
their twisted words that they were able
to throw. They would get a miracle,
but not in the way they expected it.
The miracle they would get would
determine "the falling and rising of
many in Israel" (Luke 2:34) and
indeed of all men and women every birthed.

The spirit of mockery lays in darkness. Its
understanding is darkened by its
unwillingness to see the humble way of
God and to value that above all things.
I cannot imagine what Jesus endured
emotionally, much less spiritually, during
those difficult, last days. Front and center
was the spirit of mockery trying to cause
Him to be provoked to act like the devil
would act: to respond as evil would respond.

There would be little chance of that. Praise
God! And what of us? Will the spirit
of mockery find a home in us? Will we mock
that which is of a humble and good God? If
we use our power to mock goodness then
we are in very grave eternal danger.

When we are reviled against shall we seek to
defend ourselves using the weapons and ways
of darkness?

We are the Lord's lambs. We are firmly in
His Hands and no man can snatch us out of those
nail-scarred hands. May we come to know the
height and breadth and depth of what that
means. Before our accusers may we stand
in the powerful and authoritative silence
of God. The devil may mock, but his time is
limited and his days are numbered.

This is part 3 of a series on the spirit of mockery.

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