Jesus was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? —for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
From Elaine Tindill-Rohr
Jesus was dealing with some really tough audiences. Some people wanted him to fail, some wanted verifiable proof, some were just out looking for an afternoon’s entertainment. He was used to all of those reactions, as well as the believing followers. He’s willing to tangle up the ones who are trying to tangle him in logic. He explicitly calls out those who are not for him.
And I think I’ve been every single one of these difficult audiences for people over the years. I’ve been the one rooting for someone to fail when I think that they shouldn’t be in a place where they happen to be. I’ve looked for verifiable proof of things that didn’t have it. There have certainly been answers I didn’t want to hear or accept. There have been times when all I was looking for was some cheap entertainment, and I brought out the popcorn and drinks for the show. I have definitely not been for these different people.
How do we go about not being a tough audience and being for Jesus?