1. Attitude of Jesus to different ministries
In Luke 9:49, 50, Jesus teaches us what to do when we find someone having a ministry that is totally different from ours. Someone was casting out demons, but he didn’t join the disciples. John asked Jesus to stop him. But Jesus told John to leave him alone and to let him continue that ministry. You stick to your calling and let them fulfil theirs. Many Christians are so taken up with the importance of their own ministry that they feel that everyone should be doing that. “But if the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be; and if the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?” (1 Corinthians 12:17). A mature Christian realizes that God gives different ministries to different people. If one wants to do evangelism, and another wants to do social work, let each fulfil his own ministry. Something of Christ can be manifested through both. But let us not criticise one another. There is variety in creation. God did not make every flower the same colour, the same shape or the same size. The rainbow has so many different colours. So also is the body of Christ. Narrow minded people however never see anything other than their own ministry. Here is a word for such people: “Thank God for every ministry, and stick to your own.”
“Jesus never has any stone to throw at anyone. He always had compassion on people who sinned."
2. Attitude of Jesus to sinners
In John 8:1-12, we read the beautiful story of the woman caught in adultery whom the Pharisees wanted to stone. There are many Pharisees today too whose pockets are always full of stones to be thrown at others. Many preachers fling stones at people when they preach. Jesus never has any stone to throw at anyone. He always had compassion on people who sinned. We never see Jesus in the gospels criticising murderers, thieves and adulterers. But we do see Him condemning the Pharisees and religious hypocrites in the synagogues to hell. But to the woman caught in adultery, He said, “I don’t condemn you. Don’t sin again” (John 8:11). In those two sentences we have the full gospel – justification and sanctification. Jesus had told the Pharisees, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone” (John 8:7). So whenever you are tempted again to throw a stone at someone, remind yourself of two things: (1) The pit from which God pulled you out; and (2) The sin that still dwells in your flesh today. Then you will empty your pockets of all your stones. You will never be able to throw a stone at anyone thereafter.
3. Attitude of Jesus to the Scriptures
In Luke 2:47–52, we read of the time when Jesus went to Jerusalem, and Joseph and Mary left Him behind in the temple. At the age of 12, Jesus knew the Scriptures better than all the scholars in Israel. They were amazed at His explanations of the Scripture. Jesus did not have a Bible at home. There were no printed Bibles in those days and it was very expensive to have a handwritten scroll of the Old Testament. No-one had one at home. How then did Jesus know the Scriptures by the age of 12? He listened carefully when it was read in the synagogue and in the school. Today, we have the printed Bible in our homes – and many of us have many versions of it too. Yet, most Christians today know so little of the Bible. You can’t build the body of Christ if you don’t study God’s Word. Even Jesus had to study the Scriptures from childhood in order to serve His Father. If you are too lazy to study the Scriptures, I am sure that God will never use you. But if you are diligent to study the Scriptures and seek to be filled with the Spirit, God will use you mightily. So from your earliest days when you are converted get into the habit of meditating on God’s Word. Thus you will know God’s mind and God’s ways.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon