“And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.” (Luke 23:5 KJV)
Stirs up the people? Really? The guy the soldiers have in custody? The guy that multiple audiences just tried to beat the stuffings out of? Who is actually out there getting the crowd all worked up while Jesus is being questioned? Who is shouting for crucifixion despite multiple attempts to pronounce this man as not guilty even to the point of releasing a known felon and requesting the blood guilt to be on their own heads? Yet, the formal accusation is recorded as “He stirreth up the people”.
I think there is something profound underneath this very accusation. Let’s take a second to think through how we get to the point of being this agitated. We like to think of ourselves as a scientific people. A people who examines the evidence and makes decisions accordingly. Does this look like a population that was up for any thoughtful examination? How many not guilty’s were found prior to his execution? Is this not the same mentality that the evolutionists have against Christianity today? They are not looking for evidence one way or another to consider. They look for any evidence they can find to discredit an already established disbelief. Is it just the evolutionists that think this way? Do not all who are in darkness practice this same behavior to stay in darkness?
You see the profoundness underlying the accusation of “He stirreth up the people” in that any time you are forced (or even feel forced) into making a decision on what to do with “Jesus”; it does in fact stir up a fundamental decision within you. It’s more than he really said, “…no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6b KJV) You actually sense something about him. Maybe his love, maybe his power, maybe his righteousness, maybe his presence that is off the chart real, maybe even that hint of conviction that only God can bring that you know is a very real personal guilt. Whatever it is, we know immediately that this is not a “coexist” proposition. Many beliefs are. There are many disciplines out there that can coexist all day long without a hint of conflict. This one cannot. Right about then, the first part of this same verse is realized, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6a KJV)
So, for a people that likes to think of themselves as rational and are not, and a people who like to point the finger of agitation but may not necessarily understand why they are actually agitated; the really big question becomes, how does Jesus effectively reach these people? Paul gives us a hint. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 KJV) He actually did! He pays for our sin anyway. Then he comes back with even more evidence for those who can see it (because they have believed), and sends us as witnesses with what we’ve seen him do for us clothed in his power.
The almost sad or scary part is that you cannot help but to notice that when he returns next time that his judgment will in fact be just.
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (John 9:4 KJV)