Shame. Humiliation. Fear. A hollow sadness. If you’ve ever been bullied, mocked, or harassed, you know these feelings well. What you may not know is that Jesus knew them too.
As Jesus traveled the countryside preaching his radical message of love and acceptance, he was often met with intimidation, anger, jeers and worse.
Jesus was bullied.
He knew it was coming. In fact, he told his friends and disciples to expect ridicule and hatred from others just for following him. Many didn’t like Jesus’ message. Others didn’t like who he was hanging out with. Yet, through all the vitriol, Jesus remained steadfast, speaking his message of truth and hope.
It got worse when Jesus was sentenced to death. Authorities whipped and mocked him. They made fun of his claims of being a new kind of leader by draping him with a royal robe and forcing a crown of thorns upon his head. They spit on him and hit him. Still, Jesus remained authentic, not retaliating or bending to their ways.
The bullying continued when Jesus was crucified. Bystanders taunted him, saying that if he truly was who he proclaimed, he would save himself. But Jesus knew who he was and what he had to do. He believed in himself and the task before him. He responded with love, asking for his tormentors to be forgiven.
If you’ve been bullied because of your appearance, a disability, your race or sexual orientation, or some other reason, know that you’re not alone. Jesus was bullied because of who he was too. But he didn’t give in.
He knew his truth would overcome all.