Summary: How To Keep Objective in Emotional Situations (Luke 8:22-25)
It is sad how many people allow their emotions to cloud their ability to think objectively. When emotions get in the way of objective reasoning we tend to say and do things that we later regret. Jesus knew how to calm the storm in human emotions.
Example: One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let’s go over to the other side of the lake." As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke Jesus up saying, "Master, Master, we’re going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked. In fear and amazement the disciples asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him." (Luke 8:22-25) Let us learn how Jesus can help us calm our own stormy emotions so that faith, truth and objective thinking can overcome any situation.
1. Jesus knew how to keep His subjective feelings from distorting His objective thinking. The Great Teacher taught His disciples how they could overcome feelings of discouragement by objectively assessing the different ways that people respond to their preaching. The Lord described to His disciples the four different types of responses their teaching in the parable of the sower. Christ said, "First, the seed along the path are one who hear and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The third group is like the seed that fell among the thorns. When they hear their worries, riches and pleasures of this life choke out the seed and hinder it from becoming mature. But there will always be the fourth type of hearers. These responsive people hear the word, retain it and by persevering produce a crop." (Luke 8:11-15)
Jesus encouraged the disciples to realize that only a small percentage of the people we teach will be like the fourth productive soil. We are to objectively search for people who are receptive to God’s message and concentrate our resources on fields that are ripe for the harvest. Jesus knew that we should not neglect the other three types of listeners since they may eventually move into the state of mind where they become doers of the word and not merely hearers.
2. Jesus did not allow His subjective feelings of love, loyalty and family duty to lessen His priority objective commitment to God and to those who do the Lord’s will. One day, Christ’s mother and brothers came to Him while He was in the midst of an important ministry. Someone told Jesus, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you!" Culturally it was expected of Jesus to drop whatever He was doing and attend to the needs of His family. However, Jesus remained totally objective and replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice." (Luke 8:20,21) It takes a great deal of mental, spiritual and emotional discipline to not give in to the pressures of loved ones. Decide ahead of time that nothing will deter you from doing the will of God with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
3. Jesus refused to give in to some people’s emotional requests because His objective sense guided Him to a better decision. A demon possessed man met Jesus and the Lord said to him, "What is your name?" He replied, "Legion, because many demons had gone out of him…. The man was so glad to be free from demonic possession that he begged Jesus to accompany Him during future ministries. But Jesus calmly said, "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him." (Luke 8:30,38,39) It would have been easy for Jesus to allow the man to accompany Him, but Jesus knew that greater good would be accomplished by sending him back to his town as a testimony for what God had done. Resist the temptation to give in to emotional pleas for special favors that may not match up with your priority objectives.
4. Jesus did not allow the passions of family concerns to overwhelm His objectivity. While Jesus was speaking someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. They cried, "Your daughter is dead, don’t bother the teacher anymore."