To misunderstand a person is to fail to understand his purposes and aims. We may know exactly what he is doing, but we fail to understand his reasons for so doing. Because of this we often criticize when we should praise, and thereby cause many heartaches. Children are sometimes misunderstood, and so are parents, and such misunderstanding may cause wounds that never heal. Offense is often taken where none is intended, because we do not understand one another. When we know that our own purposes are good and true, we do not like for others to misunderstand and criticize. To put all we have and are into an unselfish effort to do good, and then to be misunderstood and criticized, and sometimes abused, by our friends and those we would help, cause indescribable sorrow to any unselfish soul.
Both enemies and friends misunderstood Jesus, and for a time even His brothers and His mother. His enemies said He was a lawbreaker and a blasphemer and possessed of a demon. His friends said He was mentally unbalanced, crazy (Mark 3:21); and His brethren seemed to think so, too, "for even His brethren did not believe on Him (John 7:5). But little men cannot even understand great men; much less can the finite understand the Infinite. A few years ago a man wrote a book about Jesus, and the title of the book was, "The Man Nobody Knows." There is more in the title of the book than even its author would recognize. "No one knoweth the Son, save the Father, " said Jesus (Matt. 11:27). Nothing less than Deity could fully understand Deity.
But these people could have known and recognized His mission and the purity of His life and motives. They, for a time at least, rejected the only key to the wonders of His life and works. They tried to account for Him as a man. On these grounds no one can account for Him. Had they seen in Him God manifested in the flesh, all else could have easily been accounted for; for this great truth, that He was the God-
R. L. Whiteside, Doctrinal Discourses, 1955, p.64, originally written in the Gospel Advocate, December 10th, 1931, p. 1538