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Religious Name-calling

Religious Name-calling
Words of Faith 11-11-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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John 8
[48] The Jews answered him, "Aren't we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?"
[49] "I am not possessed by a demon," said Jesus, "but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. [50] I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. [51] I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."

Those opposed to Jesus could not debate Him reasonably so they digressed to name-calling. Name-calling is the last resort of the desperate.
Any Jew would have been terribly offended at being called a “Samaritan” and “demon-possessed”. The Samaritans were a mixed race with a religion the Jews considered false. To call Jesus a Samaritan was a term of abuse, referring to an utter heretic. Their charge was that Jesus was demon-possessed suggested they thought He was mad, unclean, and evil.
Jesus didn’t even touch the first name but did respond saying that his claims could not be those of a demon-possessed person. It is the nature of Satan to exalt himself. This is the why Lucifer fell. Jesus’ nature was the opposite. He was seeking not self-exaltation but the honor of His Father.
It is interesting that when He was accused, Jesus did not fight back. He did not even seek to justify Himself. He simply committed His case to the heavenly Judge, knowing that even if people judged the Son falsely, the Father will reverse their verdict and vindicate Him. Jesus was never concerned with the names that people might call Him or the judgment they might make. He was absolutely secure in Who He was in the Father. God is the only judge that matters.
This security is something that we can have as believers. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death." If we place our faith in Jesus and walk after His way and word, we have nothing to fear.
There are times when we will be called names. We will be cursed and defamed. We can engage in defending ourselves or we can follow the example of Jesus and leave such concerns to the only Judge that matters. The teaching of Jesus is clear. “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:28). Our call is not to defend or debate but to “keeps his word” and therefore “never see death”.

Lord, keep my head above the fray. Keep me focused on You. Let the insults of the world pass by my ears and heart. Give me grace and mercy to bless those who curse me and pray for those who mistreat me. You are my strength. In You alone do I trust. In Jesus’ name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2002, 2016
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.