Have you ever noticed the level of outrage people express when you mention the name of Jesus? Just saying you love Jesus can send people into an extended rant against you, Jesus, Christianity and all Christians around the world. It is a curiosity I have thought about and contemplated for some time and in looking at the Scriptures, I think I have some insight into the reason some people have such an adverse reaction to the name of Jesus.
Paul the Apostle wrote:
for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel (Romans 2:14-16).
Paul told the church in Rome, the law is written on our hearts, both the believer and the unbeliever. We all know unbelievers who are very moral people; they just do not know the Lord. The law is written on their hearts. They have responded to God’s Word without really being aware their moral decisions are based upon it.
The psalmist wrote: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:1)
If a person had never heard of God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, the heavens reveal them to the person as they display the work of God. Many scientists have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior after trying to disprove Him. Why? The science reveals the Creator. The more they researched, the more they realized there had to be an intelligent Designer, greater than you and me.
In Luke 19, when the disciples and multitude cried out, praising and worshipping God, as Jesus entered Jerusalem just before the Passover and His crucifixion, the Pharisees demanded Jesus silence His disciples, because they believed they spoke blasphemous. Jesus replied: “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40).
If the people had not been moved to praise the Lord, the stones would have cried out in recognition of the Son of God: “ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:38).
From God’s Word, I can conclude all creation, including man, knows God at their very core. Man may deny the existence of Him, but their internal conscience is in conflict with their conscious mind. It is because of this inner conflict, many people who call themselves atheists or agnostics get so upset when someone brings up the name Jesus. There is such conflict within them; it comes out in anger and aggression. In their hearts, they know the truth but are not willing to admit and submit to Him.
People not only experience inner conflict because of their denial, they also have a great void in their lives without the Lord. God created man to have fellowship with Him, and without this fellowship, man is incomplete. Our fellowship with Him was broken when Adam and eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, and God sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins, so He could restore fellowship with Him. That is the great love He has for you and I. Paul said: God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Corinthians 1:9). God is faithful to us and to the relationship He desires to have with us.
The most telling sign that the name of Jesus Christ is at the heart of the inner conflict people experience is the complete lack of offense when any other religious leader is mentioned. You can talk about Mohammad, Hare Krishna, Buddha, John Smith or the Dalai Lama and everyone is on board for the discussion. It is because there is no truth in these religious people. Only Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6), and that is what sets Him apart. He is the truth and for those who have not been set free by the truth, there is only inner torment. I believe that inner torment and doubt is manifest in external ranting and raging against the Lord.
The great hope Christ has given each one of us and has for every person who is denying Him is eternal salvation, but while we are here, He also promises those who submit their lives to Him: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). For those who know and love Jesus, there is great peace only He can give. For those who curse and deny Him, there is no peace, so they rage against the name of Jesus.