And it came about when He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, that they were watching Him closely. Luke 14:1 (NASB)

All of the gospels acknowledge the fact that Jesus was under the critical scrutiny of some of the best-trained Israelites (see Matthew 12:10, 19:3; Mark 3:2; Luke 11:53, 54; 23:10; John 8:6; etc.). Often he was “set up.” They asked, “Why did you do that?” Or, “What is your position on this?” Or, “What is your stance on this matter?”

Commonly, those who asked were well-trained religious leaders. Rarely did they ask to learn. Their motives involved finding fault, criticizing, attacking, or destroying his credibility. So they followed Jesus and his disciples in the fields and asked, “Why do you let them do that?” (Matthew 12:1-8.) Or, they wondered if he would heal on the Sabbath Day (Mark 3:1-6).

While Jesus’ teachings and actions blessed some, others were totally unimpressed. While some saw in Jesus hope, others regarded him to be a dangerous man who led people away from God. To some he was the Savior God promised, and to some he was a cunning servant of Satan. To some he was the promised way to God, and to some he opposed everything God valued. To some he announced God’s light, and to others he was the villain of darkness. To some he was the means to eternal life, and to some he destroyed their future opportunity for power and wealth.

Even today, not everyone sees the same thing when they look at Jesus. To some, Jesus embodies the joy bigger than death. To some, Jesus is the destruction of all fun. To some, he is the avenue to the greatest power this world has ever known. To some, he is a threat to power. To some, he is the means to wealth bigger than physical life. To some, his values are against physical wealth.

The truth is that it does not matter what others think about Jesus—pro or con! What matters is what you think about Jesus. To you, is he a Savior or a demon? In him do you find light or darkness? Direction or confusion? Life or death? Is he worth the investment of your life, or is he the stumbling block to all you value? When God asks you what you think of Jesus, will you bow out of necessity or out of desire? (Philippians 2:9-11)

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 16 May 2010

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