The last few months I’ve been preaching through Luke. I’m amazed at how offensive Jesus is. By offensive I mean, “not defensive.” He takes it right to people.
Luke 14 is a classic example. He is invited into someone’s house for a meal. He confronts religious types trying to trick Him, nails all the guests for fighting over the best seats, upbraids His host for inviting the wrong crowd and then takes an innocent comment (seemingly) from a guy sitting next to Him to launch yet again.
It’s really amazing. Over and over people sayJesus is all love and grace, yet you don’t get this sense observing His interactions with people. The case can be made that He is indeed showing love and grace by confronting lies, yet this is not what people mean by “Jesus is all love and grace!”
Jesus does not like sin. He abhors self-righteousness and arrogance. He never skips an opportunity to level people who are guilty of these things. After Jesus leaves the dinner, He walks away with a large multitude of people following Him.
Does Jesus try to pump them up, or preach a nice simple message that will make the crowd bigger? Nope, He attacks them, says they need to hate their mom and dad and take up a cross. He’s relentless in His desire to offend the sensibilities of self-righteous people.
He did a fantastic job and it led to His crucifixion. If we have the mind of Christ and are to walk in His steps, how ought we to deal with others? Or was this just a role for a Messiah with a death wish?
Not only did Jesus’ crowds get smaller, any crowd hearing this stuff today will get smaller too.