Facing Opposition 3 – Confronting The Doubters & The Blind
Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Chan Gin Kai
As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.” (Luke 11:29-32)
We hate it, or at least most of us do. And we’ll find ways to avoid it. Some cower in the face of confrontation, some cleverly waltz around it, and some just suck it up. We tell ourselves to bear with the injustice, and it tears us apart inside.
Sadly, the avoidance of confrontation sometimes affects our ability to protect the ones we love.
On the other hand, there are some who seek confrontation. It gives them a “high”. They get to pleasure their ego, and exert the authority that they imagine they have. They may get their way, but forget that what goes around eventually comes around.
Jesus did not seek confrontation, but neither did he shy away from it. When he saw that the occasion warranted it, he confronted the doubters and the blind.
Confronting The Doubters
Jesus called the doubters “wicked”. But isn’t that a very strong word for some people who simply doubted? What’s wrong with a person who needs to see reason or proof to be convinced?
The problem with these doubters wasn’t their request for reason, but their strong stubbornness. They had seen numerous miracles and heard countless sermons, but they remained sceptical.
Jesus compared them to the Ninevites who responded to Jonah’s preaching, even though Jonah performed no miracles and wasn’t even passionate in delivering God’s message. Jesus also gave the example of the Queen of the South (Sheba), who listened to Solomon’s wisdom.
The Ninevites and the Queen of the South were Gentiles, yet they listened to Jonah and Solomon respectively. Jesus had preached to Jews, but they doubted him even though they should have known better. Jesus had shown them many miracles and he would soon show a sign far greater than Jonah’s... Jonah emerged from the bowels of a fish; Jesus would emerge from the grave. Jesus’ wisdom far surpassed Solomon’s too. But yet the people didn’t believe him.
Jesus felt that this strong stubbornness warranted confrontation.
Do we dare to confront people who are stubborn towards God? Sometimes, those who profess to be Christians, and even our brothers and sisters in church can be very wilful towards God. It may be an obstinate refusal to obey the Bible, despite knowing what it says. Or it may be an unwillingness to give up a habitual sin.
Do we shy away from confronting stubbornness?
Confronting The Blind
“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.” (Luke 11:33-36)
Jesus went on to confront those who were blind – not the visually blind of course, but the spiritually blind.
Jesus is the “light of the world” (John 8:12, 9:5). He is the lamp that must not be hidden or missed. When our eyes see his light, the darkness and shame in our hearts will be dispelled. We will feel his warmth and our life lights up too. We will become like Jesus and shine like him. Our love and righteousness will be apparent to everyone around us. The joy we feel deep inside will overflow and infect others.
On the other hand, for those who do not see the light of Jesus, their hearts will remain in darkness. Burdened by hopeless guilt or lulled by shameless deceit, they get trapped in a cycle that drags them deeper into sin and despondency. Whatever little happiness they have left gets slowly sapped away. In the best-case scenario, life is a joyless and meaningless routine; in the worst-case scenario life is a dejected desperation not worth living.
Jesus felt that the blind that refused to see his light warranted confrontation.
We have to do the same. We need to confront our own blindness and let the light of Jesus shine in our lives. We also need to confront the blindness in people around us, so they can be impacted by Christ’s light.
Are we afraid of confrontations, even when the situation warrants it? Let’s draw our courage from Jesus.
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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.