How Fear Of What Others Think Paralyzes Us – Luke 20:1-26

From my reading in Luke 20:1-26 in the One Year New Testament.

Our culture makes us is obsessed with projecting an image of ourselves that looks good. Many people are paralyzed by fear because they want to make sure that what they are doing fits with the “status quo.”

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were very obsessed with what the people thought of them. They made sure to do the external religious things so that no one could question their reputation. In today’s passage, we see their actions being dictated by the crowds. 

They ask Jesus by what authority he did is work. Jesus turned the question around and ask by what authority did they think that John the Baptist did his work.

“But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet.” Luke 20:6

They were more worried about pleasing the crowds than saying what they really thought.  

They were wrong to think that Jesus and John the Baptist were not from God, but in a way God used their fear in order to let Jesus minister for longer.

Again Jesus told a parable against the religious leaders and this was their reaction.

“The teachers of religious law and the leading priests wanted to arrest Jesus immediately because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the people’s reaction.” Luke 20:19

If you are worried about what “people” think, then you are a slave. So many of us let other people, often people we don’t even know, dictate our lives!

For the religious leaders the fear kept them from doing wrong, but so often for us the fear of others keeps us from doing right.

A very helpful verse in this regard is a proverb of Solomon,

“Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.” Proverbs 29:25

Fearing what others think will trap you into a self-made prison. In the case of the Pharisees, this trap helped Christ finish his work because they had evil intent.

But for those of us who are Christians, fear of the crowds can stop us from serving God. Instead, Solomon tells us to trust the Lord and we will be safe.

Has fear of what others think stopped you from obeying God? 

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How Do You Recognize True Wisdom? – Luke 7:1-35

From my reading in Luke 7:1-30 (and continuing to 35) in the One Year New Testament.

Jesus and John the Baptist had different styles of ministry.  People said John the Baptist was possessed because he didn’t eat bread or drink wine and people said Jesus was a glutton and a drunkard and friend of tax collectors and sinners. Here’s Jesus response.

“But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.” Luke 7:35

How can you recognize true wisdom?

By the changed lives of those who follow it. Other translations say wisdom is “justified by her children.”

Children in this instance means someone who looks to someone else as a father in the faith. Both Jesus and John the Baptist saw positive results in the lives of their followers. Lives were changed for the good and their messages were compatible.

The health of a church is not judged by the quality of it’s presentation but in the lives of the members.

If people are becoming more like Jesus and loving each other then very likely there is wise leadership in place. There will always be hypocrites and immature people in every church, but overall are people’s lives being changed by Jesus at your church?

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