Switching the channels on the car radio recently, at a time when most families would be driving their children home from school, my daughter and I were horrified to hear a radio presenter use his platform to laugh at and mock ‘church people’ and jest, suggesting that Jesus was a homosexual with 12 good looking men following him everywhere he went.
This angered me. I felt my blood boil within me as I grew angrier with each mocking word. I instantly related to how Simon Peter must have felt on the arrest of Jesus when ‘he drew his sword and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear’ (John chapter 18 verse 10).
Closer than a brother
You see, though Jesus obviously meant nothing to the radio presenter, to me he is closer than a best friend. Jesus is my encourager when I doubt myself; he is my listener when I need to talk; he is my comforter when I am sad; he has seen me through sickness, good times, loneliness, failures and success.
He has given me greater joy than I could expect; been my constant companion; loved me more than anyone else; walked with me through hard times; arranged good things for me; brought my wonderful husband into my life; given me the gift of children; and has guided every step we have taken together as a family, through the good times as well as the lessons of the not-so-good times.
When you walk through so much with someone, that somebody becomes closer than a best friend, closer than a brother, mother, or a sister. And when somebody carelessly attacks that someone, a roaring lion rises up within and wants to push back.
Holding back the lion
As my anger reared up within me finding its outlet on a social media post and a letter to the station, the Holy Spirit began to nudge me: ‘What does Jesus say you should do?’
I knew exactly what the Bible says, ‘hate what is evil; cling to what is good,’(Romans chapter 12 verse 9). Well I was certainly hating what was evil in that moment but there was more, and this was the challenging part:
‘But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.’ (Matthew chapter 5 verses 44-45)
Turn it around
So I began praying—and it wasn’t a prayer to make the presenter’s life miserable. No, the prayer that began rising up in me was for his good: that he would come to know this wonderful Jesus that I know; that he would be blessed by the knowledge and love of the one true God; and that in turn, he would eventually use his microphone and public platform to bless and not to curse, for good and not for evil, to lift up and not pull down.
And as I started praying, though it still hurt hearing the words he had said, my heart felt at peace again and I actually looked forward to the day that radio presenter’s life would be better.
Jesus doesn’t need me to draw the sword. Just as he said to Simon Peter, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew chapter 26 verse 53).
Instead, Luke chapter 22 verse 51 tells us that Jesus touched the soldier’s ear and healed him.
While we must always act and stand for truth and justice (Matthew 23:23), defending the poor, the voiceless, the orphans, the widows and caring for our nation, we must also pray for the redemption of all, and know that the Holy Spirit is at work, speaking to the very hearts of people, to snatch them out of the fire and to heal them. And when we pray, God hears our prayers and he answers them.
‘For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.’ (Hebrews chapter 4 verses 12-13)
Rebecca and her husband have four children and live on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Rebecca writes for various publications including print, online and commercial. She is the author of two books: ‘First to Forty’ and ‘Pizza and Choir’. For more information you can find Rebecca at: http://www.rebeccamoore.life, Facebook: Rebecca Moore - Author, Instagram: rebeccamoore_author
Rebecca Moore's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/rebecca-moore.html