Luke 11:53-54 :
As he said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be terribly angry, and to draw many things out of him; lying in wait for him, and seeking to catch him in something he might say, that they might accuse him.
When you read what Luke has been recording in the chapter, it isn’t a big surprise that these verses are at the end. Jesus just got done verbally tearing down some of the most popular and influential people in His culture and they “began to be terribly angry.” Throughout this chapter I have been highlighting the fact that Jesus wasn’t passive and mild as some have portrayed Him. I want to take a moment to reflect on the events of that time.
Jesus had lost one of his close relatives and one of the only ones who really seemed to fight for the kingdom of God with Him; John the Baptist. John had recently been beheaded for talking too strong to the authorities about their sins. I believe this really shows how courageous Jesus is. He knew that these men were powerful enough to do what they just did to John again, but instead of shying back, he doubled up and let them have it. The fact is, Jesus knew that they would succeed at killing Him as the Bible had predicted. Jesus not only did not shy away or wait until the last moment to obey, He did His best to stay exactly in step with His Father. In the next few verses Jesus explains to us how we should think about fear and people like the Pharisees. It is clear that Jesus was not passive, but stood up to sin and obeyed the will of God without weakening.
I think it is important to notice that it isn’t good theology to say that a good man has no enemies. It also doesn’t make sense for us to assume that everyone supports the Biblical Jesus that we read here. There are may who try change the clear words of God in the Bible, sometimes even physically cutting sections out entirely in order to support their philosophy and end up using it to justify hatred of true believers.
Anyone who stands up for the truth may be persecuted in this world, including those who aren’t even Christians. I have seen it happen to anyone who knows something truthful that goes against deeply held beliefs or hopes. The problem is that “facts are stubborn things.”
Clearly, Jesus did these things for you and I. He didn’t water down the truth but spoke it with clarity so that we could benefit from it. Even while tearing down the Pharisees, Jesus was loving us and even them. It is important for us to realize that Jesus wasn’t just tearing people down. He was building people up at the expense of Himself and the evil of the leaders of His day. We know that some of the Pharisees eventually believed in Him. It is quite possible that it was something that Jesus said here that convinced them, but that’s not all He said…