Q&A: Jesus despised or respected?

Jesus despised or respected?

Question

Was Jesus despised by men, or respected? - Isaiah 53:3; Luke 2:52; 23:47 and John 18:38

Answer

Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Luke 2:52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Luke 23:47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man."

John 18:38 "What is truth?" retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, "I find no basis for a charge against him."

In one sense, everyone despises and rejects Christ. All of us through our sin placed him upon the cross. It is as natural for the unconverted to hate God as it is for rain to make the ground wet. Mankind is totality depraved and mankind's heart is not neutral even at birth: "Every inclination of [man's] heart is evil from childhood (Gen. 8:21); Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies (Ps. 58:3); We were by nature objects of wrath (Eph. 2:3); The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jer. 17:9)."

In another sense, Jesus was despised and rejected by some (enemies) and by others he was loved and praised (friends). Some yelled, "Crucify him!" Others wept. Some used lies to place him upon the Cross, while others needed to be comforted. We see similar things in our own lives. For example, in my experience as a police detective, I was despised by many but was also given awards by others for a job well done.

Jesus was both despised and respected.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).