He tried to tell them.
Oh sure, everybody sought after him for healing of infirmity and disease. The stories recorded tell of the blind seeing, the lame walking. Leprosy was cleansed on the spot. There’s even an instance of a hand growing back. People love a good show, and the more dramatic the better.
Funny story about the woman with the issue of blood. Well, not ha-ha funny, but you gotta smile from a modern perspective. She had spent all her livelihood on doctors and cures. But they couldn’t fix her problem. And we think our insurance problems are bad. All she did was reach and touch his garment. Of course, she provided the key ingredient.
Demons? Didn’t stand a chance. One batch saw it coming and begged to be sent into a heard of pigs. Him, being a nice guy, obliged. The joke was on them as, apparently, pigs are lousy demon hosts and they all headed off a cliff into the sea. And the demons were homeless. But they knew the score – one even cried out who he really was. The son of God! He told that one to be quiet.
But he tried to tell the people.
Crowds followed him everywhere. Twenty centuries before Joel and the mega-church he had 5,000 people follow him into the wilderness just to hear him preach. Take an offering? Nope – he gave them all a good meal, whipped up by his word from a few fishes and a couple of loaves of bread. There were leftovers, too, take home boxes for the faithful.
The guys in charge didn’t care for his style. All the healing and demon releasing was cutting into their territory. And what a territory it was. These leaders, as they saw themselves, lived the best lives of power and wealth. Everyone loved them. Or feared them, hard to tell which when that someone has power over your very life. And along comes this rabble-rouser, this outsider, with accusations of their crimes against the faithful. Turning over their money tables in the temple. Turning over their power.
He did try to tell them.
A smear campaign was conceived and executed. He was casting out demons by Beelzebub, they said. He was breaking the rules, the very rules the Big Guy had laid down ages ago. Had the gall to heal someone on the Sabbath, the day for holy observance, not for actually being holy. Finally, they cooked up a good one – he claimed to be the king! It didn’t take much to convince the civil rulers that THEIR power was being challenged. And those trumped up charges landed him in court.
Another funny story though. The ruling official couldn’t find the problem. His crimes? Healing, feeding, doing good. Speaking wisdom without arrogance. So, the judge said nope – this guy has done nothing wrong and you aren’t putting his blood on my head. He handed him back to the smug apostles of a smug religion and made them choose.
He was always trying to tell them.
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
“This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.”
“Therefore my Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself.”
But the threatened leaders stoked the crowd. They all wanted a show so they figured they’d give them a good one. They even made it a game, the ultimate reality show – they could execute a convicted criminal. Or crucify the son of God. The choice? “Crucify him!” they shouted in unison.
There is nothing recorded in the history of those days that would make anyone think that Jesus was a bad guy. He did nothing but good. Said the right things. Blessed people. Healed the sick. Encouraged others to do good. Supported the government. Gave what was his. Not a single crime or misdemeanor could be laid at his feet. Yet he was rejected by the very society he came to save. Came to save them from themselves, actually, not their diseases or poverty or corruption. But from themselves.
He tried to tell them. Because there was a bigger plan afoot.
Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here.”
You can’t keep a good man down, that’s for sure. Especially when that good man is on a mission. A mission to save humanity, sent by the very creator of the same.
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
So, who do you say he is?
He has been trying to tell you.