What would you think of someone who was a constant subject of rumor? How would you feel if you heard that this person ate and drank too much? And that he was demon-possessed and in league with Satan? And that he was a deceiver?
What if you heard that he had broken God’s law? And that he was going around saying that people didn’t have to pay their taxes to the government?
Who is this person people were saying such horrible things about? Jesus. Jesus!
By reading the accounts of His life recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we keep running into the accusations leveled against Him. John especially emphasizes the undercurrent of controversy surrounding this carpenter/teacher/healer from Nazareth.
But here is another side to the story. Once Jesus challenged His critics, “Which one of you convicts Me of sin?” (John 8:46 NASB). They could accuse Him all day long, and they did, but could they prove their charges?
They absolutely hated Him! Highly motivated to find fault where none existed, His enemies tried to turn as many against Him as they could. The rumors flew but never hit the target. He was innocent! Unlike His enemies, He had never sinned.
True, His opponents did succeed in having Him executed as a criminal. But who had the last word? Jesus was able to use the cross as the altar for the sacrifice of Himself for the sins of the world. And then God raised Him from the dead and exalted Him to the place of highest authority and glory He now occupies as King of kings and Lord of lords.
The New Testament makes it quite clear that we who follow Christ may also be faced with unfair accusations. As He said to His apostles, “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you . . .” (John 15:20). A certain degree of opposition from the world is to be expected (2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 2:12; 3:16; 4:3-5), but what an honor it is to follow in His footsteps! (Matthew 5:10-12; Acts 5:40-42)