Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they fainted and were scattered, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest, that He will send out laborers into His harvest" (Matt. 9:35-38).
If anyone had reason to be like our out-of-control minibike, Jesus did. Jesus had some very real enemies. They had a constant public plan to ruin His reputation. They said He was a drunk, a glutton with no self-control and a demon-possessed party animal who spent a lot of time with the kind of folks who like to wear underwear as outerwear while breaking the commandments with full zeal. That's a rough public relations nightmare for a single, homeless guy trying to launch a brand-new ministry from scratch.
Jesus, who never sinned, did call them hypocrites, white-washed tombs, serpents and blind guides, and said that their daddy was the devil—all of which probably got pretty emotional. How have you responded to enemies who continually harangue and harass you publicly?
Religious neatnicks, who were more conservative than God, regularly attacked Jesus in public. They would wait for a crowd to surround Jesus, and then pick a fight, start an argument or try to incite a riot. Quite frequently, Jesus had to make a run for it because things got so dire that He was in real danger.
Jesus had a constant parade of people who drained His life energy. Crowds followed Him wherever He went, wanting Him to answer their questions, cast out their demons, heal their infirmities, fix all their problems, pay their bills and be their friend. Jesus had no assistant to schedule any of this nor any office for them to come to, so they just followed Him around like a swarm of mosquitoes, continually buzzing day and night wherever He went.
How do you respond when people get on your last nerve and refuse to give you your space?
People wore Jesus out. On one occasion He took a nap on a boat during a massive storm. That's a yawning Yahweh. What is your emotional response to people when you are flat-out weary, sick, tired and burned out? How would you respond to all of this constant public pressure for three years? Would you default to rage, depression or some other emotion?
Mark Driscoll is a Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor and the author of many books, including Spirit-Filled Jesus, which you can order here. He currently pastors The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his family. For all of pastor Mark Driscoll's Bible teaching, please visit markdriscoll.org or download the app. You can download a free devotional e-book from pastor Mark here.
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