Monday, December 4, 2017

Matthew 9: Everyone's A Critic (Almost)

Some advice that I was given early in my ministry calling still rings true: If you're not being criticized for something, you're probably not doing enough!

Criticism has gone hand-in-hand with ministry ever since Jesus' day.  You're in good company if you get criticized for something you've done for God.  Consider the example of our Lord:

Forgiving sins?  "That's blasphemy!" say the scribes.  (Actually, they only thought that in their hearts, but Jesus heard them.)

Fellowshipping with sinners?  "That's worldly," scoff the Pharisees.

Not fasting?  "That's not holy enough," point out John's disciples.  (I wonder if that one stung a little more?)

Promising to raise the dead?  The crowd just laughed.

Casting out demons?  "He uses even greater demonic power to cast out demons!" argue the Pharisees (again.)

I can just imagine Jesus sighing after these complaints.  Then, as now, everyone's a critic.


If you notice, there is one group of people who did not throw stones at Jesus for His words and deeds - the people that He helped.  The ones that He healed.  The ones that He raised from the dead. 

The paralytic who had his sins forgiven and then picked up his mat.  He didn't criticize.

Matthew and the tax collectors and "sinners?"  They let Jesus be.

The synagogue ruler.  His daughter.  The two blind men.  The mute demoniac.  It's hard to criticize someone who has just powerfully changed your life.

May God keep us from being critical of our Lord and Master and those who serve us in His Name and in His Spirit! 

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