Luke 19 v 39 “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
There was false honour, imperfect praise and fearful offence.
Right now, someone, somewhere is getting offended!
The crowd are surrounding Jesus, the sound is increasing, the energy levels are rising, singing, cheering, whistling, shouting, jumping around. Sound like church?
But unfortunately within the crowd are some grumblers. The most committed followers can be the ones who whinge the most! You seem to not be able to shake them off!
Why were they offended? Why did they tell Jesus to end the show?
1. They were afraid excuse of the use of the Old Testament Messianic scriptures towards Jesus. They were God-agents. They believed that they had to stand up against all kinds of injustice and wrong-doing for God’s sake.
2. They were afraid of what the authorities would do if there was yet another messianic proclamation. The Romans were stamping down on such groups. But the crowd was big and the effect would be immense.
3. They were afraid because their own following was diminishing as people ran after Jesus. They were fearfully jealous. In Johns gospel they defeatedly said, “Look the whole world has gone after Him.” (12:9)
Fearful offence is still here. You can find it in most Churches. I see it a lot.
> Haranguing people. Hurting, wounding, making people feel bad, pulpit to the pew and vice versa. All in the name of God, afraid for the holiness of God and the Church. We try and rebuke like Jesus rebuked his disciples on occasions, but we fail because we are at the centre of every rebuke and we are not good enough.
> Decorum reigns. Decency, orderly, don’t ruffle the suits. Emotionless worship. Keep it quiet, don’t disturb the neighbours, be careful what we say. Some become offended for those who just may be offended.
> Jealous motives. If this was truly God he wouldn’t be blessing the Church up the road with the crowds. He would be blessing us right? Those crowds well, it’s mere entertainment, not true, not real. No it is here, with us, we have it right. We might not be attractive but we are right.
The response of Jesus to fearful offence?