Heaven To Earth

The introduction to Jesus resulted in either conviction or condemnation.
— Pastor Rodney

Reading about the religious teachers in Luke 20 makes me sad for them. Yes, Jesus had just told a parable that indicated their wrong attitudes and actions, but they only walked away more angry and bitter, charging ahead in their self-centered, self-serving ways.

Meeting Jesus seemed to cause some sort of reaction in people, and how could it not? Heaven coming down to earth, the Most Holy meeting with flawed humanity — it is impossible that people would leave him unaffected. Yet the way they walked away was up to them. The woman at the well was called out, seen in all of her sin, yet she walked away free and satisfied where she had come bound and thirsty (John 4). Zacchaeus, too, was a better man after encountering Jesus, going back and righting his wrongs, moving forward in freedom (Luke 19).

Yet there were enough people, especially those who came thinking that they had it all together, who walked away from the Son of God without changing anything for the better. In fact, here in Luke 20, they walked away with murder on their minds. Nobody was going to call them out, talk to them that way.

The difference seems to be in the way people chose to respond to Jesus, for He was the same everywhere He went. When they allowed the conviction He brought to do something inside of them, they walked away positively changed. Yet when they resisted the correction that Jesus inevitably would bring, they left without accessing the healing or the freedom He had in store for them.

And of course, the words of Jesus and the Spirit of God are still powerfully convicting today, and we are in the same spot. Will we, like the self-aware sinners, allow them to work inside of us? Will we submit ourselves to His authority and trust Him to teach us the way to go? Or will we hold tightly to the high opinions we want to have of ourselves? Will we refuse to let His words go too deep inside?

Conviction might be more painful in the moment, but the freedom on the other side is worth it. The condemnation, the bitterness, and the bondage that result from refusing to change — those are unintended but long-lasting and not what Christ wants for us. We get to choose.

Think it over:

Are there any areas of your life where you are resisting conviction? What could be the benefit of submitting to it?

Read for next week:

Luke 20:27-46