Not everyone who knew Jesus agreed with him. Obviously. There was a group who arrested him, put him on trial and killed him. But before they killed him, religious leaders would ask him questions with the hopes of trapping him into sharing false teachings. These men weren’t interested in being taught by Jesus. Their goal was to stir up the crowd to rally against the Promised Messiah standing there in human form. And because of their hatred and fear of him, they wanted to pressure him into backing down from sharing his message. Oh. He knew their game. So he was always ready to throw their misinformation back in their face. But he confronted their lies with compassion and kindness.
Jesus’ message was intimidating to those who didn’t understand it. So people would intentionally misinterpret it. They would spread lies about what he did and didn’t say. They tried to shame him and shun him. But the world couldn’t keep Jesus quiet. He continued to proclaim his message of hope and forgiveness, even when the crowds moved against him. Even when the leaders were pushing to have Jesus banned from the temple, he continued sharing the good news of salvation.
On multiple occasions the Pharisees accused Jesus of wrongdoing. Once they accused him of breaking the law of Moses because his disciples pulled ears of corn from the stalk and ate it on the Sabbath. Another time, when Jesus healed a blind and mute man, the Pharisees accused him of healing in the name of Satan. A third time, they demanded that Jesus show them a miraculous sign to prove his authority.
Still another time, the Pharisees questioned Jesus about divorce. They were, once again, hoping to trip him up on the subject. He had talked openly about divorce in another sermon, and they wanted to see if he had changed his stance on it. He directed them back to the Scriptures with his response. They countered with a quote from the law of Moses, and Jesus in turn answered again straight from Scripture.
Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me. Matthew 12:30
Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. Colossians 2:8
We would do good to remember that the Bible places the blame for divisions on the ones bringing in the false doctrine, not on those who call it out.Alisa Childers
As believers, we must be willing and able to have conversations with those who oppose our biblical beliefs. We must be ready to sit down and share our faith. We must be able to give a reason for the hope that we have. That means we must read and study the Bible. There are no excuses to not know what we believe. Because in sharing the truth of God’s love, we may lead someone to faith in God. Perhaps our willingness to engage in uncomfortable conversations with an unbeliever will lead them to repentance.
Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. 2 Timothy 2:23-26
We shouldn’t shy away from engaging in conversation with those who disagree with us. But we also must be prepared to engage when the opportunity comes our way. We have no option but to read and study the Word of God, in order to speak truth into the lives of those we see on a regular basis. Let’s take up the challenge of opening our Bibles on a daily basis. I’m just going to say it like it is. We take all the time we want to scroll through social media or binge watch our latest show or sports event, so why can’t we take time to read the Word of God every day? Why can’t we? If we’re not studying to be more like God, how can we know him and how can we know what we believe? How can we intelligently argue in favor of God when we don’t take time for him?
If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 1 Peter 3:15