Is your faith fetching people to Jesus or is it rather driving them away from Him? Are you discouraged by the spiritual trait of some people? Here is an encouraging truth from the Bible, come near to Jesus and don’t see the crowd around Him.
We would have come across many people who boast about their faith, their prayer lives or their purity and discipline. Most of the times these people turn out to be a source of discouragement to us. Jesus describes these kinds of people through the parable of the two sons.
The first son immediately refuses his father’s commands but later fulfils them. The first son is just like a new believer and though he wants to obey, he does not know how to fulfil God’s commands. Hence, immediately refusing on the father’s face. But the desire to obey his father’s command keeps burning in him and at last, he comes through. He does not bother with what people may think about him if he denies.
However, the second son willingly takes responsibility but fails to comply as he intends to project himself as an obedient son. Hence he pleases his father by his words but not by his deeds. He is very much fond of what people think about him like people who show off their sacredness, just to intimidate the new believers
We must learn to not be bothered with what people think about us but think only about the One (Jesus Christ) who bothers about you.
Cast your cares on the LordPsalm 55:22
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
We should realise that Jesus is always thinking about us and we should explore in what way we can please Jesus and not others.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.Hebrews 11:6
In the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax collector (Luke 18:9-14), Jesus is encouraging the new believers who feel hopeless by the so-called prayers of the self-righteous people. While the pharisee is praying to the Lord, he is boasting of his deeds and depending on his self–righteousness, the tax collector who was probably shattered by the pharisees’ words, decided that he doesn’t even have the right to come inside the house of God. He stood far away and started crying about his helpless situation.
But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’Matthew 18:13
When the rich man came to Jesus (Matthew 19:16-24), his intention was not to quench his spiritual thirst by the living water but to show that he is eligible for eternity. He left Jesus sorrowfully as he was made to realise his real state. With what intention we are seeking him?
A man named Zacchaeus, who was the chief tax-collector and a man of wealth, wanted to see Jesus and climbed on a tree as his intention was not to give hype to his action but he was rather afraid of the people from whom he had illegally earned wealth. Even with this fear, he longed to see Jesus. What is the reason that he is unable to control the desire to see him? While he was sitting on that tree, Jesus called him out saying “Zacchaeus, come down. I want to come to your house.”
As Jesus and Zacchaeus were walking together, people commented that Jesus is going to a sinner’s house. Somehow, Zacchaeus, could not tolerate this allegation on Jesus and decided to get rid of his sinful nature even before Jesus entered his house.
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”Luke 19:8-10
If your desire to see Him is real, the transformation of your heart is assured by Jesus. If your faith is pure, it will bring people to Jesus.
Whoever is not with me is against me, and he who does not take part with me in getting people together is driving them away.Matthew 12:30
So are you discouraged by the act of hypocrites? Take heart, as Jesus is near you and loves you. He is really a source of encouragement for you in these peculiar circumstances. Or if you are knowingly or unknowingly a source of discouragement to many, Jesus can change you if you come to Him.
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!Matthew 18:6-7