A servant is not greater than his master, and so in principle we should always expect to get the same treatment that Jesus did. But because — despite being His followers — we are still tangled up in our own sins and failings, there is always for us a measure of deserving some of it.
This creates a false impression in us. We tend to think that “if only” we were more like Jesus, this wouldn’t be happening to us. No, actually, if we were perfect, the hostility we would encounter would be perfect also. The only thing perfection would do is bring all the latent issues to a head more rapidly.
Jesus lived a life of sinless perfection. What does that get somebody around here? One time his family showed up with a straitjacket (Mark 3:21). Other times Jesus was accused of being a prince of demons (Matt. 10:25). It was said that He had contempt for the traditions of His people (Mark 7:5). He was said to be a carouser (Matt. 11:19). He would eat and drink with quislings and whores, and this reflected on His reputation (Luke 19:2; Luke 7:37).
Modern Christians in the corrupt West need to make a mental adjustment. Because we are still in a period of transition — from the older Christian order to the newer bedlamite order — two things have to be going on. In the first place, there has to be clear, open, and unapologetic persecution of Christians. Here is a recent example for you, but they are coming with some regularity now. Get used to them.
But the second thing that needs to happen is that our ruling elites who are orchestrating all this have to deny that any of it is happening. They do this for two basic reasons. The first is that they are rank hypocrites, and they still want to pretend that they care deeply for religious liberty. By religious liberty they mean your freedom to think whatever you want about God and man, just so long as it stays completely behind your eyes and mouth, and between your ears. If any of it leaks out, you are guilty of micro-aggression against, I don’t know, someone who suspected your faith might make them frightened. You must be hauled off to the camps so that they can feel safe.
The second reason is that they are trying to mess with your head. You’re the one who is crazy — you and your paper cut persecutions. Poor baby lost his hetero-normative center!
None of this is new.
“Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?” (John 7:19–20).
Jesus knew they wanted to kill Him, and He said so. They said in return that He was a demon-possessed. How dare He point out what was self-evidently true?
Gaslighting is a term taken from a film called Gaslight. The story is about a particular form of abuse, in which the abuser mistreats the victim, and then, using various forms of deception and manipulation, makes the victim think he is losing his mind.
It didn’t work on Jesus. Sometimes it works on us.