But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:2 NASB)
Outside my living room window are two birdfeeders. One is filled with sweetened red liquid for hummingbirds, and the other with seeds for song birds.
I love to watch the various birds coming to the two feeders. Over the course of time, I have noticed some aggressive behavior at the hummingbird feeder. There is one hummingbird that loves to sit in a nearby tree and dive at the others when they come to get a drink. His bullying tactics cause these little creatures to tear away at lightning speeds only to return and try again. The same thing occurs with the other birds. There always seems to be one bird that wants it all for himself. The larger birds force away the smaller ones and a virtual battle takes place for the right to eat from the feeder.
We see this same scenario played out in society over the years. Since the beginning of time angelic and human beings have set upon a course to rule over others by forceful (bullying) methods to gain supremacy. It began with Lucifer (a created angelic being) who one day decided to force his will upon the entire angelic realm and take over the throne from the great Creator God. His bullying tactics went for naught as God Almighty subdued and cast him and his army out of heaven. (Ezekiel 28:11-19; Isaiah 14:12-15)
The Old and New Testaments are filled with accounts of men and women who have attempted to follow in Satan’s footsteps. History reveals that individual men and governments have been successful in “bullying” their way over others, but there is always someone standing in the wings ready to subdue them and take over at the slightest sign of weakness.
Jesus came into this world to offer an alternative solution to the problem of sin, aggression, and violence, but he was rejected. The Pharisees made every attempt to bully him and his followers into adhering to their traditions and interpretation of the law, but were unsuccessful. They finally managed to have Jesus crucified, but even that was a part of his plan of redemption.
Believers today who desire to walk according to Jesus’ teachings are harassed and bullied to remain silent about their faith. Threats, intimidation, false accusations, mis-leading statements, and outright slander are some of the bullying tactics used by those who want to suppress the freedom of religion.
We must ask ourselves – where and to whom do we owe our allegiance? Is it to man or God? It all boils down to who is the “object of our affections?” God is calling upon us to take a stand for righteousness. Are you and I willing to make the necessary sacrifices to remain true and loyal to Him?