Summary: How did Jesus handle persecution?
Jesus said in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus promised an abundant life to his Disciples! But then in John 16:33 Jesus told His Disciples, "In this world you will have trouble!” What did Jesus mean with these statements? How did Jesus handle troubles?
How should we handle troubles?
The answers of course are in God’s Word. Please open your Bibles to the Gospel of Luke Chapter 13….
But before reading our text, let us pray our commitment to God’s Word…..
Read along with me now Luke 13:31-35…….
Let us summarize the story then look at Biblical principles from the passage.
What can we note from v31?
- Some Pharisees warned Jesus about trouble!
I think it is worth noting that the Pharisees, who were religious leaders, were not reprimanded here. Just because they were Pharisees does not mean that they are immediately “bad” people.
There’s a Biblical Principle here isn’t there?
Be careful of “labeling” people?
Of course we must watch ourselves from being judgmental; I have to confess that there are times when I think about all the bars in our church neighborhood and label people around us as “rednecks” who don’t care about church. This is another reminder of my own sinfulness and claim Jesus Christ as my Savior for forgiveness to renew my heart.
Now, many of you know that this bigotry goes both ways. Because many of us are brown in color (beautiful brown by the way), I know some in our neighborhood will not come to this church and actually label us with derogatory names. This is actually the main lesson of the passage: How should we handle persecution?
Jesus of course answers this for us but let’s not get too far ahead of the passage; let’s talk more about v31; what else can we note?
King Herod was plotting to kill Jesus. In other words,
- Trouble had come to Jesus, the Son of God!
How did Jesus handle it?
Look again at v32-33…. Did Jesus retaliate? – We don’t read a direct reprimand.
What did Jesus say He will do in general??
- In spite of persecution Jesus continued His work. And what was Jesus’ work?
Look at v32 again…. Jesus drove out demons (in other words evil spirits); He healed people; and what was Jesus’ goal? Remember, what we noted from Luke 19:10? Jesus came to earth to seek and save the lost!
- Jesus’ work was to bring complete salvation to people!
And we can note from the text why Jesus pursued His work in spite of persecution! Anyone have an idea of why Jesus was persistent in doing His work??
Jesus said, “I must press on today, tomorrow, and the next day!”
- There is urgency in Jesus’ work of proclaiming salvation!
And Jesus commented on prophets staying in Jerusalem to death!
- Jesus commended the prophets for not leaving town because of persecution.
And what can we note from v34?
Why did God send prophets to Jeruslaem??
- God sent prophets to warn people!
But what did the people of Jerusalem do?
- Jerusalem persecuted God’s prophets.
And how did Jesus respond to an unwilling and persecuting people?
In spite of their pride and hate,
- Jesus still loved the people of Jerusalem by longing to take them under His wings!
But what will eventually happen to those who do not accept God’s love through Jesus Christ? In v35, Jesus reminds people of what it will be in the end.
First of all, for those who do not accept the love of God through Jesus Christ:
Their house will be left to them desolate, in other words,
- they will not have an eternal home of peace or rest
- in the end, they will clearly know that Jesus is Lord
What are the major Biblical Principles we need to note and apply to our lives?
First of all, we must
1. never be surprised of troubles in this world
Our own Lord and Savior was persecuted to death because people refused to believe in the Son of God. Many in our world today will not believe Jesus Christ the Son of God and they will give trouble to us who do believe. One of the marks of a true believer of Christ is they will be ridiculed for their belief.
Troubles will come to Christians just because they are Christians.
Now of course trouble can also come because of our own sinfulness.
The answer to everything of course is Jesus Christ!
If you have troubles because of your belief in Christ, remember James 1:2, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
If you have troubles because of your own sins, remember John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Go to Jesus and confess your sins and repent.