The Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Matthew 27:27-30; Mark 15:16-19

Mockery Is the Devil’s Sport

There is only one God and thus one Creator.  No one else can create anything.  Men and women take what God has made and form and shape it into wonderful uses (and ignoble uses as well), but no scientist will ever make anything out of nothing like our God can.  Creation is a mark of deity.  This truth (that only God can create) is as true for angels as it is for us, including the devil himself.  Some picture the devil as an anti-god, as if he were God’s equal, only in the realm of evil.  This is not the biblical picture at all.  In Job 1-2, the devil answers to God, as he does throughout Scripture.  Indeed, we may say that the devil is ever on God’s leash and even serves Him, though unwittingly (1 Corinthians 2:8).

So if the devil can’t create anything (which must surely cause him great consternation), then what can he do?  Put simply: he makes a mockery of the creation that God has made.  Or to put it another way, he copies what God does, or mimics what God does, but always with a touch of perversion.  The true God commands people to worship Him and enjoy Him forever, but Satan convinces them to cast a dumb idol instead; God gives food and drink to enjoy, but Satan intermingles obesity, anorexia, bulimia, and a host of other food-related illnesses and diseases; God gives us intimacy to enjoy with a husband or wife till death do us part, but Satan introduces fornication, adultery, divorce, homosexuality, gender confusion, and other boundless sensual passions.  Art, music, literature, technology, science, literally everything under the sun is game for Satan’s sport, which is to take God’s wonderful gifts of creation and somehow twist them in such a way that those beautiful gifts become ugly things.  To use an impolitic but suitable word, Satan is at heart a pervert.

Which brings us to our passage which is the terrible way the soldiers, no doubt hardened men, treat Jesus with contempt.  And how do they do it?  By mocking him: a scarlet robe (no doubt, torn), a crown of thorns, a reed for a scepter which they use for a weapon, kneeling before him and saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  And it is mockery in its purest form; after all, here is the King of the Jews, the King of kings and Lord of lords, to be exact.  And these men, behaving as brutes, fake a worship of him and treat him as if he were the lowest human being on the planet, hardly fit for a cross.  And in treating him as unfit to live, they mistake the Eternal One for a worm.  In this case, mockery produces the most profound irony. Yes, mockery is the devil’s sport.  But blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: