Reading Jesus in the Bible gives me a much different picture than hearing about Him in most contemporary churches. Jesus said, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.” Is that invitational? Is Jesus even being “seeker-sensitive”?
Was Jesus freaking out on people? Was He even following the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership? What on earth was He doing?
“You are of your father the devil!” Can you imagine your pastor going off on someone like this? How is this redemptive? Was Jesus just having a bad day?
Perhaps we find the words of our Lord abrasive and surprising because popular Christianity today has been lulled to sleep. The poison we are drinking is the liberal brainwashing that we should not rock the boat, we should accept everyone, and that love equals tolerance. If tolerance is love then Jesus is hateful.
Did He just go there?
While reflecting on the words of Jesus, I realized that John chapters 7 and 8 are not Jesus having a bad day. Not only was He speaking to those who needed a strong word, He was showing us an example. This is not the way He spoke to everyone, however.
Jesus reserved His harshest language for the hard-hearted. Those blockheads were big wigs in religion. In fact, it seems the ones with the toughest time following Jesus were those who had let their positions of power go to their heads.
He called them liars! “And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,” I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word.” Reading through Jesus’s conversations with them, I told myself that I would have given up on them rather than continue the conversation. So why did He go on?
True love will confront
If you love someone you will not let them walk into danger unwarned. If you love your child, you will not buy them drugs. If they are using drugs, you will speak to them and try to get their attention.
I would rather walk away from people than confront them about their error of their beliefs. However, Jesus shows us that true disciples—those who love like Him—will speak out even when it is not popular.
I know, the popular preachers today do no talk about sin and hellfire. Jesus was not trying to be popular. He was not trying to be successful. That is how He and most preachers today are different.
People have to come to the point of decision. You don’t push them here the first day you meet them, but if you are not careful, you will go years trying to be friendly and tolerant of someone without ever confronting them with the realities of the gospel. To hear the gospel they must realize their sin and leave it behind. They must fully embrace the whole gospel of Jesus Christ.
How loving are you being to those the Lord has placed within your circle of influence?