Luke 5:17 (NKJV) trips me out. See why: “Now it happened on a certain day, as Jesus was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem.” For those unfamiliar with the Pharisees and teachers of the law, they openly opposed Jesus, citing their written and verbal laws and religious observations (i.e. the Sabbath) as justifications for their disdain toward Him. Throughout Scripture, these groups called Jesus names like unclean (Luke 7:39), blasphemous (Luke 5:21), and a drunkard (Luke 7:34). Because the way He moved threatened their authority and popularity, they regularly disputed His teachings and even went as far as plotting to kill Him. All that said, you read right…Jesus’ haters TRAVELED – some a couple hours – to hear Him speak! Below I’ve identified three reasons why your Pharisees might go to such great lengths to keep up with you:
- To see how many steps ahead of them you are. Your haters may never admit it, but they measure their success by how successful you are. While they’re used to you being ahead of them, too far is too much for them to handle, so they keep tabs on you and plan their moves accordingly.
- To get new material. Your haters read what you write, listen to what you say, and look at what you do for one simple reason: anyone who has based their existence on destroying you needs you. Your moves can’t be criticized unless they’re being analyzed. Their sustenance depends on knowing what you’re doing at all times.
- To turn other members of the crowd against you. Unlike you, your haters can’t work independently. That’s why they have a knack for finding one another and recruiting others. Keeping that in mind, you can’t take any of the rumors you hear about yourself personally. Your haters aren’t concerned with the veracity of what they say about you, their only goal is that it gets others to hate you too.
When you think about your Pharisees, I’m sure your biggest question is “Why?” – Why do my haters have so much time on their hands? Why is anyone as important to anybody as I am to them? Why on earth would anyone do the things that my haters have done to me to someone? I want you to know that I’ve lived with those questions for years and have managed to find comfort in trusting that whether my haters choose to position themselves front row, somewhere less conspicuous, or even smack dab in the center of the stage on which I stand, there’s nothing they could ever do to stop the call that God has on my life. Today, in exchange for angst about what your Pharisees might do next, I’d like to send you an extra special vibe that has helped me weather the storms of being lied on, gossiped about, abused, raped, abducted, attacked, etc. – the unbotheredness that comes from knowing God blocked it and will continue to. You’re untouchable! Walk in it. No, better yet, Luke SkyWalk in it!