Am I treating Jesus with contempt? Now that is a tough question. I don’t really want to think about it. Yet, if I am nullifying what Jesus wants to be happening, is that not contempt? If I don’t help the poor or those in prison, is that not contempt? Jesus is clear that if I don’t help them, I am evil and going to spend my eternal life in “fiery hell”.
And Jesus said to them, “Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things and be treated with contempt? (Mar 9:12 NASB)
As background, the Greek word for contempt is ἐξουθενέω exouthenéō, (ex-oo-then-eh’-o). It means contemptible, despise, least esteemed or set at naught. The first principle of Jesus is to love. Contempt is hate but it is insidious in that I don’t see it in my life.
Jesus is insistent with me. Jesus is waiting for my answer as the homeless man is begging for money. What will I do? Will I give him some or ignore Jesus and show my contempt?
Recently I headed into the “big city”. I pulled off the toll way and came to a stop at the red light. A homeless man was begging. It is my habit to give them money but I was hesitating. I was thinking, maybe the light will turn green before he gets to my car. Maybe I can just ignore him. Jesus convicted me and I did give him money. More than he probably needed and he picked up his stuff and left. No more begging for now.
Thank God he showed me mercy as I am a sinner (aka missing God’s goal). I heard Jesus say, “in that you have done this homeless, you have done it for me.” That is enough.
Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱέ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν
ἐξουθενέω exouthenéō, ex-oo-then-eh’-o; —contemptible, despise, least esteemed, set at naught.