Was Jesus despised by men or respected by them?


John 1:1 - 51

ESV - 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.

Clarify Share Report Asked June 11 2019 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that the chapter from John's gospel cited in the question (John 1) addresses this by noting in John 1:11-12 that Jesus was both rejected by many (involving active animosity or even hatred in the case of His most vocal opponents), and received favorably (including genuine belief and faith in Him as the Son of God and the promised Messiah) by others. In both cases, these responses had been foretold in Old Testament prophecy, in passages such as Isaiah 53 and Isaiah 42:1-4 (to cite just two). 

Those who most visibly or vigorously opposed Jesus did so for a variety of reasons, including misinterpretation of prophecy (such as noting only prophetic passages pertaining to the Messiah's future power and glory, and disregarding those that spoke of His suffering and death); perceiving Him as a threat to the continued existence of Israel (which was under Roman control), or to their own temporal power; or envy of the popular following that He attracted (although many of those followers -- including His chosen apostles -- deserted or denied Him (at least temporarily) in His time of greatest need -- possibly in some cases because they had hoped that Jesus (if He were the Messiah) would free them from Roman domination, and then fell away when those hopes were disappointed).

Those who actively opposed Him were able to prevail in the short term (again, in fulfillment of prophecy) because of the greater temporal power that they possessed, and their willingness to deceive by misrepresenting Jesus' teachings as a political threat (Luke 23:2). But God was able to use even those events for His glory by enabling those who believed in Jesus to gain eternal life through faith in His atoning death and resurrection -- salvation not only for believers at that time, but for Christians ever since, and continuing until the close of the present age.

June 11 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
This is just an apparent contradiction, not an actual one. Because, according to Isaiah, Jesus was “despised and rejected by men.” Yet in the Gospels, even Jesus’ enemies seemed to respect Him, saying as Pilate did, “I find no fault in Him at all” (John 18:38). The Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus exclaimed, “Certainly this was a righteous Man” (Luke 23:47). Indeed, Luke says that Jesus “increased... in favor with God and men” (2:52). Which is true—was Jesus respected or despised?

To solve this apparent discrepancy we could say that both are true. In general, He was respected by His friends and rejected by His enemies. He was honored by His disciples, but crucified by His foes.

Further, Jesus was more accepted in general in His early ministry, but the antagonism became more intense in His later ministry. So, it depends on who is speaking and when, as to whether Jesus was despised or respected.

--When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties

November 30 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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