1. Last Sunday, in our study of the Lord's Invitation (Matthew 11:28-30), we pointed out that Jesus understands how we feel when we are tested. 2. Hebrews 4:15 shows that He understands how we feel because He faced the same trials during His life on earth that we face today. 3. Hebrews 4:16 teaches us that mercy and grace are available to us at His throne. 4. In our lesson we are concentrating on a particular trial that Jesus faced: "bullying." 5. Before we examine some occasions when Jesus was bullied, His responses, and His teaching, let us consider some . . .
I. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT "BULLYING"
A. Let us first define it (Webster). 1. A bully is "a quarrelsome, overbearing person who badgers and intimidates." 2. To bully is "to intimidate or terrorize, to be loudly arrogant and overbearing." B. "Bullying" is not a new problem -- it has existed for a long time. 1. Cain bullied Abel (Genesis 4:8). 2. Joseph's brothers bullied him (Genesis 37:23-24). 3. Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem bullied Nehemiah as they tried to stop work on the wall around Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:19). 4. Haman bullied the Jews as he made a plan to destroy them (Esther 3:5-6). 5. Nebuchadnezzar bullied Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:15). 6. Diotrephes was a bully in the early church (3 John 9-10). 7. As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9, "there is no new thing under the sun," including "bullying." 8. Unfortunately, bullying will continue until the Lord returns.
II. JESUS WAS BULLIED DURING HIS LIFE ON EARTH
A. Herod was a bully when he tried to kill Jesus as a baby (Matthew 2:16). B. Satan was a bully when he tempted Jesus after His baptism (Matthew 4:3, 6, 9). C. The Pharisees were bullies when they: 1. attributed the Lord's power to Beelzebub (Matthew 9:34; 12:24) 2. criticized Jesus for healing on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:9-10) 3. tempted Jesus by asking questions about divorce (Matthew 19:3), paying tribute to Caesar (Matthew 22:15-17), and the great commandment in the law (Matthew 22:34-36). D. The Sadducees were bullies when they asked Jesus a hypothetical question about the resurrection (Matthew 22:23-28). E. The chief priests and elders were bullies when they asked Jesus about His authority (Matthew 21:23). F. Jesus was bullied during His trial (Matthew 26:59-68; 27:27-31).
III. THE BIBLE SHOWS HOW JESUS RESPONDED TO BULLYING
A. He did not attack those who bullied Him. 1. John 18:22-23 2. Luke 23:33-34 B. However, He stood up for others who were bullied. 1. He told the apostles to leave Mary alone (Mark 14:6). 2. He stood up for the woman caught in adultery (John 8:7).
IV. THE LORD'S WORD SHOWS US HOW TO RESPOND TO BULLYING
A. See: 1. Matthew 5:38-39, 43-48 2. Romans 12:14, 17-21 3. Philippians 4:5 B. We are to follow the Lord's example (1 Peter 2:21-23).
1. When we are bullied, let us remember that Jesus was bullied without sin. 2. Let us boldly approach His throne for mercy and grace to help.