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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 269 - Misunderstanding



When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”


Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.


Mark 15:35,36


Remember the last time you were misunderstood? It probably happened because you weren’t clear. Or they weren’t listening closely.


A misunderstanding happens when someone says one thing, but the other person hears something else. It’s at that point that the confusion starts. And life turns sideways, or maybe upside-down.


Here we have a clear misunderstanding. Jesus is calling out to God using His name, Eloi, but some of the people heard him call out to Elijah. There are many possible reasons for the confusion.


  • The names do sound alike.

  • Jesus was up on the cross so there was some distance between him and those standing near.

  • Jesus had been severely beaten, and perhaps his mouth was injured, causing him to slur his words a little bit.


While these ideas all are reasonable, maybe there was another reason that they heard Elijah. Maybe this is what they wanted to hear. Maybe this is what they expected to hear.


After all, Elijah lived an extraordinary life, performing many miracles and even raising the dead[1]. Something else that made Elijah different is that he was taken to heaven without experiencing death[2]. Because of his life, and the way he left the earth, Elijah was thought of as a deliver in times of trouble.


It's like how some people pray to saints for help in their lives. They look to someone closer to God who’ll understand their problem and need. Or they look to guardian angels. Someone who’s been assigned to them. To look over them. To watch out for them.


It’s a good idea, looking to someone other than yourself in times of trouble. Looking outside yourself for help. Looking to someone who’s got more insight and power than you.


It’s the right first step, but many take that step in the wrong direction. Angels, saints, spirits, gurus, prophets, seers don’t have the power or authority to fix what’s wrong in your life.


There’s only one person who can understand what you’re going through. There’s only one person who has more than just an idea about what you’re life is like. And that’s because he’s experienced all the same kinds of things we have. But with one big difference – he never failed. He never caved. He never sinned.


And that one person is Jesus himself.


For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one (Jesus) who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.


Hebrews 4:15


Jesus has personally experienced all the misunderstanding, misuse, and other misses of life in this broken world. He had a life filled with sorrow and grief. His life was full of rejection and pain[3].


And Jesus’ answer was not to think of this world as an illusion. Or that it’s all a meaningless accident. Or that God is angry and we have to cower before him. Or that we’re absolutely and utterly alone so that we had to save ourselves.


No, the radical and revolutionary message of Jesus is that instead of us trying to climb and claw our way to God, that God came down. Jesus lived in heaven from eternity past, in perfect love and harmony within the Godhead. And he was willing to leave that perfection, where he was worshiped and glorified, in order to bring us forgiveness. Salvation. Restoration.


Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.


Philippians 2:6,7


Let there be no misunderstanding. The God of the universe emptied himself. Made himself nothing for you and me. How can we respond with anything less than wonder, love, and praise?

[1] 1 Kings 17:22 [2] 2 Kings 2:11 [3] Isaiah 53:3

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