Monday, April 19, 2010

Zeal and Persecution

Psa 69:7 For it is for thy sake that I have borne reproach, that shame has covered my face.
Psa 69:8 I have become a stranger to my brethren, an alien to my mother's sons.
Psa 69:9 For zeal for thy house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult thee have fallen on me.
Psa 69:10 When I humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach.
Psa 69:11 When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them.
Psa 69:12 I am the talk of those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me.

The ninth verse obviously evokes the memory of Jesus:
Joh 2:14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business.
Joh 2:15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.
Joh 2:16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade."
Joh 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for thy house will consume me."

Many of the commentaries I’ve been reading apply it to all religious though. If we do our job as Christians and shine for God, others will find reason to mock us (at the least).

Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.

I was angry the other day at work because some people were mocking Catholics specifically, but Christians in general.  This should not be surprising! In fact, it is almost expected.  I'd go so far as to say required, if we think we're doing our jobs.  The readings from this Sunday address the issue as well:

Act 5:27  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them,
Act 5:28  saying, "We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us."
Act 5:29  But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men.
Act 5:30  The God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.
Act 5:31  God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
Act 5:32  And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."
Act 5:33  When they heard this they were enraged and wanted to kill them.
Act 5:34  But a Pharisee in the council named Gamali-el, a teacher of the law, held in honor by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a while.
Act 5:35  And he said to them, "Men of Israel, take care what you do with these men.
Act 5:36  For before these days Theudas arose, giving himself out to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was slain and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing.
Act 5:37  After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered.
Act 5:38  So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail;
Act 5:39  but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!"
Act 5:40  So they took his advice, and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
Act 5:41  Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.
Act 5:42  And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. 

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