Facing Opposition 2 – By Clearing Misconceptions
Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Chan Gin Kai
“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:24-26)
Opposition may stem from malicious motives, but they may arise from ignorance too. Some may be deceived by manipulative enemies, while others may have misconceptions that need to be clarified.
Jesus didn’t just rebut the accusations of those who opposed him; he went further to clear the people’s lack of understanding of evil spirits (which was used as an angle of attack on him). He pointed out how the void in our hearts is prone to being taken over by the devil.
We are all created with a void in our hearts that only God can fill. We hate the feeling of emptiness. But instead of seeking a relationship with God, we pursue so many other things.
Jesus cleared up the people’s lack of understanding – casting out demons is only a part of it, filling up the void in our hearts is another. We need to fill our hearts with God and His goodness, or bad will take over.
Jesus' explanation not only put a stop to his enemies' accusation regarding casting out demons in the name of Beelzebul, but also helped the crowd to see their need for God. An accusation was turned into an opportunity.
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:27-28)
This woman was not an enemy of Jesus, and she was in fact praising him. But what she did was nonetheless distracting. Jesus was rebutting accusations and trying to turn people’s hearts to God when she interrupted him, albeit with a praise.
The spontaneous exclamation from the woman was meant to honour Jesus and his mother (and by extension, his family). It was akin to, “Your family must be so blessed because you are so awesome”.
Jesus clarified her misconception by saying that those who have a relationship with him through obeying the word of God are more blessed than those who have a familial relationship with him. This reply was not in anyway meant to dishonour his mother, but to emphasise how blessed are those that obey God.
Jesus would have been the perfect son to his mum, and the perfect brother to his siblings. So they are indeed blessed to have him in their family. But those who obey God are even more blessed because they are freed from the slavery of sin and have received the gift of eternal salvation.
This time, Jesus cleared up the woman’s distracting misconception, and used it to further his purpose of bringing people to God.
We will be accused even though we're innocent, and misunderstood even if we do not wrong. We must maintain clarity of mind and composure to be able to clear them.
How do we handle opposition? Do we get offended and start retaliating? Do we get discouraged and give up? Let's follow the example of Jesus, clear up people’s lack of understanding, and harness that opportunity to bring them to God.
With wisdom from the Spirit, we can turn an attack into an opportunity.
Read more about 'Facing Opposition':
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. In church, he serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry. He describes himself as "just a sinner who wants to get right with God". Gin Kai joined the Central Christian Church in 1988.