Calm in the storm.
I absolutely love how this verse begins. “On one of those days,…”
Ever have one of those days? Of course you have. We all have. You may very well be having one of them today. Jesus seemed to have a few of them himself.
Pharisees and teachers from all over were sitting, listening to Jesus. They had come from several towns, including Jerusalem. This fact informs us that there were several opinions in the room that day. Some of which were opposed to Jesus and His message.
As we will discover this account is the first of five incidents of controversy Luke tells us of. Jesus is facing a bit of a rough ride.
I have no way of confirming this, but human nature tells me that as Jesus is speaking, other teachers were outlining their responses and criticisms of all he was saying. To say he was outnumbered would be a gross understatement.
However, in the midst of surrounding opposition, Jesus remains focused on the mission and able to maintain his composure. We see this in the second half of verse 17.
“And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.”
His mission remained the cornerstone of each and every conversation and period of testing. Though surrounded by people who resisted him, he boldly moved forward with the task at hand.
You’ll also note that he continued to stay sensitive to what was going on. Jesus understood the power to heal was with him. He didn’t allow the crowd to diminish his ability to fulfill his mission.
Allow me to sum it up. Jesus was moved by compassion for the man he was about to heal, rather than the crowd around him. He was focused on the needs of the one over the opinions of the many.
How can we learn to stay in tune with what God is doing when the crowd says otherwise?
How do you react to opposition in your life?
How fast things can turn against someone with vision. In the span of a few moments the group went from, speaking well of him (verse 22) to leading Jesus to a cliff to throw him down it (verse 29).
Thus we have a picture of a leader’s life. One minute you and your vision are being applauded and the next, everyone seems to be against you and it. A leader would do well to learn a lesson here.
Never allow the applause of men to lull you into believing that everyone is for you. The crowd can and does turn quickly. What is important is to stand with courage and resolve, believing that the vision God has given is meant to help the very people who are now out to harm you.
Never give up on the crowd. Though they may very well turn their back on you, remain focused on your call. God is with you and will guide you each step of the way. Our role is to simply carry the vision to the places and people God sets before us. He is leading us!
Once again, we see that the very ones who know us best seem to be the very people who have the most difficult time accepting our leadership. Jesus doesn’t seem to let this bother him as he continues to move forward with resolve.
Your leadership may not be accepted where you’d like to see it received. This may be a sign that God has other plans. Keep trusting him in the midst of this.
Have you encountered opposition to your vision?
What is God showing you through this?
God is clearing a pathway for the vision you’ve been given.
Remember John, Zechariah’s son? God did not forget him. Fast forward approximately 18 years and we see John going about preparing others for Jesus. 18 years is a long time to wait for the vision to make its way into the hearts and minds of people.
For all those years the vision was made to marinade in the life of Jesus. He learned the culture, the land, and the people. One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is taking a vision to others without learning about those who will receive the vision.
Note how these three verses name nine people as well as the region. This provides the backdrop for the vision. It becomes imperative that leaders take time to study the ingredients surrounding them in order to understand what the vision will marinade in.
Never make the mistake of underestimating this. In this time of waiting, we are given insight into potential opposition we may face. This allows us time to adequately prepare ourselves and the message.
Finally, we see another, John who goes before us to prepare the hearts of others. Teamwork is a vital ingredient to seeing the vision radiate into the lives of the people.
What are you doing with your vision during your season of waiting?
Who do you have on your team?