Why do the righteous suffer?

And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 10:38-39

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:24-25

Jesus Christ teaches that the righteous followers of Him will suffer for His name sake. As long as we are on this earth, we may experience many forms of sufferings. Taking up our crosses and denying ourselves are marks of discipleship. To follow Jesus would mean to suffer for His righteousness’ sake.

Suffering is a learning experience. We do not suffer because we are good people. Most righteous people are not immune to sufferings in life. We overcome sufferings through Christ who suffered for us. We welcome sufferings as purifier of our faith in the Lord. It is a test how far we go with Him. Do we follow Christ only because everything is going smoothly according to our untested faith?

The unrealistic expectations brought about by the preaching of the prosperity gospel and the life without sufferings creates a wrong picture of God. No harm shall come upon the children of God is a false assumption. 

The question, “Why do the righteous suffer?” is an unbelievers dilemma. Why do believers get sick? Why do good people suffer tragic death or accident?  “Why” is not part of God’s vocabulary because He knows the answer and we don’t. Our knowledge is finite and limited.

A true believer in Christ does not question God, why the righteous suffer. There are many things we can ask why things happen with no answer at hand. To suffer is a path to know more about Christ. He gets closer as you suffer while keeping hold of Him through His wonderful words of life.

The degree of sufferings changes from person to person. If you think that becoming a believer in Christ is all good life without pain and failure, you are mistaken. It is true that there are promises of divine protection in the Scriptures however that does not mean,  we will not have a stormy and dangerous journey in this world.

To answer the question, “Why do the righteous suffer?” is an easy one. Who is righteous in this world anyway? I am sure no one is righteous. We are all unrighteous people before God our Father. We deserved all the punishments for our sins including the things we have done in secrets. Let us humble ourselves before our God the Father. 

The Son of Man

 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.  Mattthew 16:13-14

Jesus presented Himself as the son of man. He was a son of a woman. Mary is a human being like us. She carried on her womb a fetus implanted by the Holy Spirit. Though He was borned by  woman, He was not a man like us. Jesus Christ is a supernatural Being who dictates His destiny. The Son of Man rose up from the grave after three days. The Son of Man can also forgive men of all of three sins.

The gospel is filled with the term, “the son of man”. Jesus used that term many times to reveal Himself and his mission. When He says that He is the son of man, it does not necessarily mean that He is a man like us. He was a son of a man/woman of the human race but worked the work of His Father in heaven. He can do what His Father does.

It was the Father God who revealed the true identity of Jesus Christ through Peter. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. The revelation came not through the flesh and blood, not through formal education.

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 15-17

Who is Jesus Christ to you? What do you think?