A. W. Tozer, cleansed the temple, demon extractions, discern His will, easy believism, hang around sinners, healing on the Sabbath, Luke 4:14-15, ministered to by women, restore Jesus' reputation, sanitizing and sterilizing Jesus, Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing, the end of themselves, thinned the crowds
There was a brief moment in Jesus’ ministry when He was loved and adored by all. Listen to these words.
14 And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all. Luke 4:14-15
This lasted only a few days… until Jesus went back to His hometown. Everything was “ok” until Jesus uttered a few prophetic words about His own life and ministry. It was if He dropped a bomb shell. He said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21) It is tough when something of God is actually fulfilled in your hearing. You either agree with what the Lord is doing and saying, or you disagree. Why is God always putting us on the spot? Why are we made to discern His will? It is like when someone says…”The Lord spoke to me” or “I heard the Lord say.” We either believe it or disbelieve it. Believe or not, I know some Christians who find it easier to believe in alien abductions than God speaking to someone.
All this might appear to be a bit controversial but Jesus did this over and over again in His ministry. Every time the dust settled and the crowds grew… Jesus thinned those same crowds by saying or doing something controversial. The crowd had to choose to continue believing without getting offended. Jesus didn’t believe in easy believism.
In Luke 6 Jesus purposefully heals a man on the Sabbath. He didn’t have to work a miracle on the Sabbath… but He wanted to heal this man on this day. Over and over again Jesus purposefully hung around sinners, drunkards, tax-collectors, and prostitutes. In reality, how many of us want to hang around this type of crowd. Yet, if we want to raise the standard of the type of people Jesus hangs with, then we should join Him.
Jesus also cleansed the temple on two occasions. He didn’t clean out the local honky-tonk, skid-row, houses of prostitution, or the corrupt court system. He willfully went after the temple and the temple court. Jesus even inferred Gentiles would receive greater blessings than the Jews. How dare He?
In addition, Jesus allowed Himself to be touched and ministered to by women. The gall of this Man! If all this was not bad enough, Jesus made a pointed visit to a grave yard to deliver a man of evil spirits. For commerce sake, the people begged Jesus to leave. The demons, upon exiting the man, entered a herd of swine and plunged themselves into the sea.
All these events and more were a publicity nightmare for Jesus. Dale Carnegie couldn’t have helped Jesus. Maybe we can help the Lord out in our day by eliminating some of these types of activities. Lets restore Jesus’ tarnished reputation by eliminating….
- Prophetic utterances. Lets refrain from saying the Lord spoke to us. Lets keep our prayer life quiet.
- Healing on the Sabbath or any other day.
- Certain types of people. Lets upgrade Jesus’ social networking and getting the right type of people to “like” His Facebook page.
- Cleaning or correcting religious institutions. I am sure they will be fine without any intervention from the Lord.
- Demon extractions. If they don’t bother us, we will not bother them. Lets let sleeping dogs lie.
How does all this sound? Maybe we have already been guilty of sanitizing and sterilizing Jesus. Here is the problem. If we don’t sanitize and sterilize Jesus, then we will become offended by His message and ministry… just like His hometown. Lets purpose to follow the real Jesus and accept His message and ministry. If Jesus impacted and changed His followers lives 2000 years ago, He can change our destiny today.