One day Jesus turned to His close friend Peter and said, “Get out of My way, Satan!”
I’m guessing that did not leave Peter with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
Jesus, led by the Spirit, left in His wake a trail of hurt, angry, offended, and even humiliated people. He healed on the Sabbath, and His enemies are humiliated. He raises Lazarus from the dead, and the leaders of religion are furious. He goes to His death, and Simon of Cyrene gets stuck carrying the cross.
I wish doing good always made everybody happy. But it doesn’t.
Okay. There are some people who are just offensive. They hurt people and blame it on the gospel.
I’m not talking about that.
I’m talking about doing the right thing, the good thing, and other people—even people you love—get hurt.
How do you navigate through that?
At first glance, the Bible doesn’t offer much reassurance. Jesus said “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26
No, Jesus isn’t asking us to hate people. He’s merely saying that a choice between Jesus and somebody else isn’t a choice. Choose Jesus.
Sooner or later, in one form or another, life puts that choice to us. Jesus or somebody else? Choose.
Abraham was willing to give up his son Isaac if he had to choose between Isaac and God. Why? What gave Abraham the confidence to do that?
I think we find the beginning of an answer in Hebrews 11:19. Abraham had confidence that God knew how to take care of Isaac.
Maybe that’s what this is all about. Maybe God needs to pry from our fingers those things and those people we value most so we can discover that our treasures are much safer in His hands than in ours.
So, yes, we choose Jesus even when it means other people get hurt. It’s a test of faith. It’s a test of leadership. And, no, it ain’t easy.
PS. Sorry I’ve been out of the loop. I’ve been getting our home ready for sale; you can read about it here:
I hope to be more engaged in coming weeks.