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A Typical Day For Jesus

JesusIt’s hot. The crowds are enormous. Men, women, children, carts, livestock are everywhere. Dust fills the air. The stench. The blistering sun. Jesus is swarmed to the point of being crushed. The skeptics start in on him…

“By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.”  No “wow” or appreciation for his most recent healing of a mute man, just deep skepticism to his miracles. Others demand more signs. Jesus responds…

“Guys – you don’t get it! A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand! Everyone knows that. If I drive out demons by the devil, then how do you do it? Come on! Are you with me or not!”

Then a woman cries out: “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” Ignoring the culture-based compliment, Jesus points her straight to God. ” Lady, neither my mom’s value (or yours) comes from the ability to produce a male child. Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it. Don’t build your value from culture. Build it on God!”

“Come on Jesus, give us a sign! Give us a sign!” The crowd is relentless, pressing in to get a closer look at the eccentric rabbi. Jesus replies, “You wicked generation! You don’t get it. You ask for a sign, but none will be given except the sign of Jonah. Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites. I am a sign to this generation. Even the Queen of Sheba will rise on judgment day and condemn you. She came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, but now something greater than Solomon is here. Me! Don’t you get it! Even the men of Nineveh will stand up on judgment day and condemn you, for even they (the Ninevites of all people!) repented at the preaching of Jonah. But now something greater than Jonah is here. Me! Don’t you see!”

Jesus continues…

“Come on guys, focus your eyes on who I am and your whole body will be full of light. If not, you’ll be overcome with darkness.”

Jesus wiped the sweat and dust from his eyes. He was tired and hungry. A Pharisee invited him to dinner. Perhaps Jesus was hoping he might be able to relax for a moment. He skipped the ceremonial washing and reclined at the table. His host was shocked and rebuked Jesus. Jesus cut him off…

“Oh please! Your dishes may sparkle, but inside you’re full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people!” Jesus doesn’t stop…

“And another thing, you give God a portion of your wealth, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You need to do both!”

“And you’re always vying for the best seats in the synagogue, and looking for people to greet you and praise you in the marketplaces. You fools! You’re like zombies – the people who you are supposed to bring to God are defiled because of you. You’re toxic!”

A lawyer puts down his cup and chimes in. “Hang on there, Jesus. What you’re saying is quite offensive. You’re insulting us too!”

“Offensive?” Jesus replied, wiping his mouth. “Let me tell you about offensive…”

“You lawyers load people with extra-biblical burdens you yourselves don’t carry. You don’t lift a finger to help those seeking God! You want to talk to me about offensive! Please! You have no idea!”

“You even build monuments in an attempt to honor the prophets, forgetting it was your forefathers who killed them! And you continue to persecute and kill them to this day!”

“You deprive people of the knowledge of God!”

“You hinder those trying to find him”

“Don’t talk to me about offensive!”

It was a lively dinner.

Afterwards, the pharisees, scribes, and lawyers made plans to try and catch Jesus with something he might say. “Maybe he’ll blaspheme,” they whispered, “then we’ve got him!”

Jesus left the dinner. The crowds had grown even bigger. There were now thousands of people – some were getting trampled. Jesus grabbed his disciples and said, “Guys, the food was pretty good, but the conversation got a little heated. They’re a tad upset with me right now. So be careful what you say around those hypocrites. They’ll try to catch you in their snares. If they do, they’ll shout what you say from the rooftops. They’ll put it all on Facebook, and they’ll Tweet it too! I’m serious, be careful, but don’t worry too much…”

“Don’t worry about those who can kill your body. Afterwards, they have no power over you. God is who you should fear! He “is” power. Only God decides your long-term care. And He loves you. You’re so important to him. He even loves the little sparrows – and you guys are way more important than sparrows, right? Lol!”

“Seriously though, when you speak up about me before men like these, I will speak up about you before the angels of God. If you don’t, I won’t. Deal? And, by the way, whatever you do, don’t harden your hearts against the Holy Spirit. He will to teach you about me, God, and my mission. If you mess with the Spirit, you’ll miss the boat. Without Him, you’re done. Got it?”

“Now here’s the cool thing guys….when you find yourself in a jam – when people are pressing in all around you, when they’re dragging you before the authorities, when they’re accusing you, and when they’re persecuting you (and they will persecute you), guess what? The Holy Spirit will be right their reassuring you, counseling you, telling you exactly what to say – just like He did with me all day today and at the dinner party. You’ve got nothing to worry about. Okay?”

His disciples are tired, weary, and confused. It’s been a long day. They can barely take it all in. They’re afraid. Jesus continues…

“So guys, all that stuff back there, the demands, the pressure, the hypocrisy…etc, you can walk through it – just like I did. It’s where God does his best work! Trust me – I know. Don’t be anxious. And remember, don’t get distracted or caught up with things like arbitrating people’s greed. And don’t worry about your life, your clothes, or what you’ll eat. God knows you need them. But seek Him, His will, and His Kingdom first. The rest will fall into place. Cool?”

“Come on, let’s get to Jerusalem. I’ve got business there.”

Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson
[The above is adapted from Luke 11:14 – 12:31 ESV, NIV]

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