Luke and The Lost
It happens most when what you have been given to do is going well. You are at the pinnacle of the mission of ministry with others, people are coming to Christ in a mighty miraculous way and the critics emerge. “Why are you doing it this way?” “We’ve never done it this way before.” “Your style of clothing isn’t what we are used to for people our age.” “We don’t think the microphones are working properly.” “The room is too cold (or hot) for us to worship.” “The donuts are stale today.” “You seem to have too much fun.” “Why are you smiling?” “You teach too much.” “There were no tea bags on the coffee table.” “You are discriminating against tea drinkers!” “The chairs are not arranged properly.” “Do you read your Bible every day, because I don’t think you are, or you would change the order of service back to the way it was.”
The statements blindside you because you are so in love with Jesus and love what He is doing in the lives of others like you. When your focus in the right place that is actually when the critics get to you in the worst way. Know that it will happen prepares you. But know where it really is coming from. It is not the flesh and blood in your face, it is satan. Know your enemy, satan, who will consistently fuel the fire of hearts who only see the organization of religiosity without having a consistent relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Then pray for them. Pray that they might see Jesus.
Jesus, Son of God, was bombarded by sarcastic, religious critics with every miraculous act He did for others. It begins now in our next passage of Luke 5 (“Who does He think He is?”) and will continue until He is placed on the cross for our sins…and theirs. Jesus knows best how to deal with critics. Let’s allow Him to do that work for us…still…don’t fight back. Don’t criticize. Stay focused on the race to win the prize, as Paul relates. We are heaven bound, not earth bound. Stay focused on Christ.
Luke 5 and 6, The Message
33 They asked him, “John’s disciples are well-known for keeping fasts and saying prayers. Also the Pharisees. But you seem to spend most of your time at parties. Why?”
34-35 Jesus said, “When you’re celebrating a wedding, you don’t skimp on the cake and wine. You feast. Later you may need to pull in your belt, but this isn’t the time. As long as the bride and groom are with you, you have a good time. When the groom is gone, the fasting can begin. No one throws cold water on a friendly bonfire. This is Kingdom Come!
36-39 “No one cuts up a fine silk scarf to patch old work clothes; you want fabrics that match. And you don’t put wine in old, cracked bottles; you get strong, clean bottles for your fresh vintage wine. And no one who has ever tasted fine aged wine prefers unaged wine.”
In Charge of the Sabbath
6 1-2 On a certain Sabbath Jesus was walking through a field of ripe grain. His disciples were pulling off heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands to get rid of the chaff, and eating them. Some Pharisees said, “Why are you doing that, breaking a Sabbath rule?”
3-4 But Jesus stood up for them. “Have you never read what David and those with him did when they were hungry? How he entered the sanctuary and ate fresh bread off the altar, bread that no one but priests were allowed to eat? He also handed it out to his companions.”
5 Then he said, “The Son of Man is no slave to the Sabbath; he’s in charge.”
6-8 On another Sabbath he went to the meeting place and taught. There was a man there with a crippled right hand. The religion scholars and Pharisees had their eye on Jesus to see if he would heal the man, hoping to catch him in a Sabbath infraction. He knew what they were up to and spoke to the man with the crippled hand: “Get up and stand here before us.” He did.
9 Then Jesus addressed them, “Let me ask you something: What kind of action suits the Sabbath best? Doing good or doing evil? Helping people or leaving them helpless?”
10-11 He looked around, looked each one in the eye. He said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” He held it out—it was as good as new! They were beside themselves with anger, and started plotting how they might get even with him.
What do we learn?
–Jesus deals with critics in the best way for He is God.
–We are not God, so we need to ask Jesus to take care of the critics and ask Him to transform us.
–Pray for your critics that they might see Jesus.
–Don’t stop ministry because of critics.
–Keep doing what God has asked you to do with enthusiasm, for you are doing it for God with a humble heart to please Him.
–Discern what is truth and what is just critical thinking. God’s Holy Spirit will help us.
–Think higher thoughts.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Your critics were driven by thoughts of insecurity and fear of loss of power. These thoughts are placed in hearts by Your opponent to all that is good. Evil does not like it when You work in and through us in Your Name. We see the enemy for who he is and look to You for Who You are and will forever be. You are our Father, Savior and Lord and Helper. You are God, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. The Three-in-One will always defeat the demons. Thank you, dear Lord for helping us always. Show us Your will and plan just for today.
In Jesus Name, Amen