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Friday, March 30, 2007

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Jeremiah 20:10-13
Psalm 18:2-7
John 10:31-42

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sticks and stones

" 'It is not for any "good deed" that we are stoning You,' the Jews retorted, 'but for blaspheming. You Who are only a man are making Yourself God.' " —John 10:33

The old saying: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me," is not true. Names hurt us much more than sticks and stones, especially names that deny our identity. For example, it was an insult from his wife rather than his physical problems that drove Tobit to wish for death (Tb 2:14ff).

Likewise, one of the most damaging things anyone can do to a male is to question his masculinity with the comment: "You're not a real man." It's worse than a physical beating to tell a mother she's a failure in raising her children. At work, fellow employees bait a Christian to get him angry and then say: "You're a poor excuse for a Christian."

One of Jesus' greatest sufferings was not the stones, or even the nails or thorns, but the insult when He was called "only a man" who blasphemed by making Himself God (Jn 10:33). That may have hurt more than the scourging and pained Him more than the crucifixion. Jesus was being nailed on the cross way before Calvary. He endured it all out of love for us.

Prayer:  Jesus, a week from today is Good Friday. Thank You for dying for me. May I live for You alone.

Promise:  "Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord, for He has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked!" —Jer 20:13

Praise:  Even though teased and sometimes mocked by fellow classmates, Steven continues to forgive and love his tormentors.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Redemptive Suffering on audio AV 75-1 or video V-75.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 2006 & September 18, 2006

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