Read: Mark 15:16-30
And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. (v. 20)
The Apostles’ Creed tells us that Jesus “suffered under Pontius Pilate.” One of the most deeply emotional ways that Jesus suffered was at the hands of the Roman soldiers. Today’s verses tell us that these ruffians “clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him.” Then they poked fun of him by saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” (vv. 17-18).
No one likes being mocked. It hurts when people make fun of you. Sometimes people are made fun of because of the way they speak or how they look. But mockery hurts most when it is connected to something intensely personal, like your faith. It’s what you base your life on, and when someone laughs at that, it hurts deeply.
The mocking of one’s faith in God did not start or end with Jesus. It continues today, even as it has throughout all of biblical history. Not long ago, for example, a well-known American television personality mocked Christianity as “a mental illness” and that Christians “suffer from the delusion of prayer.”
As William Barclay noted in his Daily Bible Study, “If ever people make a jest of our Christianity, it will help to remember that they did it to Jesus in a way that is worse than anything likely to happen to us.” —John Koedyker
As you pray, ask God for strength when people mock your faith.
About the Author
Rev. John Koedyker has been a pastor in the Reformed Church in America for more than forty years. His ministry began in Japan where he served as a missionary for ten years. After that he has served churches in Iowa and Michigan. He has served as the Stated Clerk of Muskegon Classis, RCA, for the past sixteen years and also presently serves as pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven, Michigan. John has written a number of times previously for Words of Hope and he has a bi-monthly religion column in the Grand Haven Tribune. He is married to Marilyn, and they have four grown children and seven grandchildren.