Henrik Ibsen wrote a profound play back in 1882 called: An Enemy of the People. The story focused around a Dr. Stockmann who stood against the economic interests and pride of his small Norwegian town because their claim to fame (their public baths) were making people very sick with pollution from the town’s tannery.
Unwilling to face the cost and shame of the truth, the town authorities and townspeople, instead decided to brand Dr. Stockmann as ‘an enemy of the people’. He lost his respect, his career, his security, and his family’s well-being because he chose to stand up for what was good and true and right.
As we approach Palm/Passion Sunday (the last Sunday before Easter) we might notice that Jesus hasd the same thing happen to him. In the end Jesus was branded ‘an enemy of the people’ and nailed to a cross… even after he had exhibited so many wise teachings, healings, and miracles.
The same reason that caused Dr. Stockmann and many others to be condemned… selfishness, corrupt authorities, and misplaced personal pride.
If you are new to the Christian faith, this time of the year (right before Easter) we remind ourselves that we ourselves have been guilty of selfishness, corruption and pride… that the same forces that nailed Jesus to the cross are at work in our lives. Yeah… not a real positive message, but one that we can ‘size-up’ against our personal short-comings and realize is true. And in realizing it’s truth, we can look forward to an opportunity to ‘make it right’.
That opportunity comes with the Easter message (we will get to that next week). For now, we need to reflect on this question:
If Jesus is an enemy of the people… where should we be in the equation: on the Jesus side or the people side?