trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Ready to Respond?

We can do this, and we must.

Who Says? (7)

Then some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” But after that they dared not question Him anymore. Luke 20.39, 40

Then there’s this
In Luke 20 we have seen how Jesus debunked the challenges to His authority – and the implicit claims to authority of His challengers – by asserting His own authority as the Word of God in line with the Word of God in Scripture. At every point in these confrontations, the reasoning of Jesus’ challengers was exposed as faulty because they depended on the wrong authorities to support their views. As Jesus calmly but insistently set forth the Word of God as true, the lies undergirding His opponents’ position crumbled, leaving them with nothing to say.

At the end of the day, as Jesus demonstrated, what matters in life is the extent to which we agree with God and His revelation, especially as that is made known in Jesus. We may not be able to “make sense” of all that God has revealed, and we may find ourselves completely out of sync with the thinking of most of the people around us. But at least we will agree with God and be in submission to His mind, rather than depending merely on the minds of men. People may consider us to be religious fanatics or out of our minds, but if we’re right with God, let them think what they will. Let God be true.

People don’t like to have their authority challenged. They don’t appreciate being exposed as hypocrites or fools. They can sometimes get a little angry when we act like their “authorities” don’t cut any ice with us because we hold to the Highest Authority of all and the teaching of His Word.

But that’s just part of what’s involved in being a follower of Jesus Christ. Dare to ask someone, “Who says?” and, rather than get a coherent answer and a stimulating conversation, you might just get a snide remark and an end to the discussion.

But by asking such questions, you may also sow a seed of uncertainty where before smug self-assurance ruled. Michael Polanyi reminded us that this might be the best and most important thing we can do: “Though powerless to argue with the nihilist, [the believer] may yet succeed in conveying to him the intimation of a mental satisfaction which is lacking; and this intimation may start in him a process of conversion” (Science, Faith and Society).

Jesus understood
Jesus understood this. He knew where these confrontations were heading. What looked like a clear-cut victory for the Lord in Luke 20 turned out to be more fuel on the fury of His foes, and led to their arresting, condemning, and killing Him. And He knew this.

But He also knew this wasn’t the end of the story.

And so should we. The point of taking our stand on the Gospel and of holding fast to the Scriptures as our framework and starting point in life is not that we think, sooner or later, everyone else is going to come around to this position as well. They aren’t. We don’t believe the Gospel because we think, ultimately, everyone’s going to see the reasonableness of it. They won’t.

But some will. You and I did, after all.

We believe the Gospel because we can’t help ourselves. God has wrought upon us by His Spirit and Word, and we have the mind of Christ to see the world and life and everything the way He does, and not according to the puny and often faulty ways wrong-believers tend to see things.

We understand, as Jesus did, that not everyone will share our views or come around to our way of seeing things. Still, they need to hear the truth, and that involves exposing false assumptions, demonstrating the folly of their worldviews, questioning their authorities, and helping them to consider Jesus and the teaching of God’s Word.

Still, they won’t all believe.

Yes, but…
But that doesn’t mean we are failing in our calling; rather, we will find that some people will want to talk more about these matters, and a few people, like ourselves, will suddenly “come to their senses” and believe the Good News about Jesus (cf. Acts 17.32-34). Some will mock and scorn us. Some will be willing to talk further about these matters. And some will believe as easily and as naturally as you and I did when the Spirit of God finally opened our minds and hearts to the holy reasonableness of the Good News of Jesus.

But we must ask the hard questions and keep Jesus in the picture.

We must be ready for each of these responses. For those who get angry, and who tell us they don’t want to hear about Jesus anymore, we simply have to say, “OK.” But agreeing not to keep “shoving Jesus at them” doesn’t mean we agree never to ask them again, “Who says?” Or that we won’t be ready to resume our conversation if they indicate a readiness to do so.

For those who are willing to talk further, we must create ways and opportunities of keeping the conversation going. Set up meetings to talk. Give them something to read and get together to discuss it. Keep asking the question, “Who says?”, to encourage people to think beyond their safe but unexamined lives into the larger possibilities of the truth that is in Jesus.

And if anyone actually comes to his senses and believes the Gospel – like you and I did at some point – then we need to be ready to show them how to get started in the life of faith. Help them begin reading the Bible and trusting what God teaches there. Bring them into fellowship with other Christians, so that they meet others whose lives show that God’s Word has real power to change lives. Pray with and for them, and do whatever you can to help them begin their new life in Jesus in as positive a way as they can.

It’s amazing what can happen when we make bold to ask the people around us, “Who says?” Try it yourself; and be ready for the kinds of responses Jesus and the apostles received, and to deal with them with just as much grace.

For reflection
1. What three kinds of responses should we expect to meet with as we talk to others about Jesus?

2. By asking people, “Who says?”, we invite them to consider the validity of their reasoning process. Explain.

3. What can you do to help a new believer get started in the faith – and in a completely new way of using reason?

Next steps – Preparation: Review the installments in this series, “Who Says?” Ask the Lord to give you boldness and grace in approaching wrong-believing friends and co-workers with the Good News of Jesus. Rest in the authority of Jesus and His Word as you help your friends reflect on the authorities which prop up their lifestyle.

T. M. Moore

You can download this and all the studies in this series, “Let God Be True,” by
clicking here.

A companion book to this study, Understanding the Times, is available at our bookstore. Learn more about this book and order a free copy by clicking here. Our booklet, The Gospel of the Kingdom, can help ready you to proclaim the Good News. Order your free copy by clicking here.

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. We ask the Lord to move and enable many more of our readers to provide for the needs of our ministry. Please seek Him in prayer concerning your part in supporting our work. You can
contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.