Haters on the Doorstep of Eternity –
I used to fight a boy between the 7th and 8th grade because he continued to tease me after my father lost a special election for the Detroit City Council. It was my dad’s first attempt at running for office. The boy would curl his lips in a nasty, rubber-type way and say, “Your dad is nothing but a loser!” My reaction was to haul off and hit him. It seemed like we fought every day. One day, I got him in a choke-hold and took great pleasure in preventing him from hitting me. With a muffled voiced he snarled, “Nicholas, I hate you.” A little later he hissed, “Nicholas, I am going to kill you.”
Even in junior high school It shocked me to hear a person threaten to kill me. Killing is such an extreme measure. Even now as an adult, the thought of another person being so upset that they think that murder is their best option, is abhorrent and extreme to me.
When the boy threatened to kill me, I choked him even harder and told him, “You will have to kill me because I am going to keep putting a whipping on you!” Years later, my father told me that it bothered him so much that my younger brother, Emory, and I were fighting any kid who said our father was a loser, that our fighting served as a motivation for him to run in the next general election, which he won the 9th spot and became the second African American in the last century to be elected to the Detroit City Council.
I am telling you this story because this Sunday I am preaching about the hatred in the ancient Jewish community for Jesus. The more the crowds loved Jesus, the more groups like the Chief priests, Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees, wanted to kill Jesus. They wanted to kill Jesus because they hated Jesus. They hated Jesus because they were jealous of Jesus. They hated Jesus because they were contemptuous of Jesus. They hated Jesus because Jesus challenged their authority and sense of righteousness. If you have ever had to deal with the hatred of another person, I invite you to come to church this Sunday and to reflect upon my message entitled, “Haters on the Doorstep of Eternity.”
Mark 11: 18 And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. 19 And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. 
Questions for Reflection:
- What are the reasons you believe the chief priests and scribes wanted to kill Jesus?
- What are the root causes of hate?
- When have you prayed to the Lord to take away your hate?
Prayer: Lord, help me with my temptation to hate. Wash away my contempt for those who seem phony and plastic in their self-presentation. Fill my heart with love for all people. Bless me to look beyond contempt and callous behavior. Free me from the shackles of jealously and envy. Teach me to forgive, even as you have forgiven us. Teach me to be merciful and kind. And most of all, teach me to love as you have first loved us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
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 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mk 11:18–19). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.