Jesus, His Critics and How to Handle Criticism
by Dave Jenkins
Criticism can either be helpful or unhelpful. Criticism is unhelpful when it aims to attack the person and belittle them. Criticism is helpful when it aims to help the person grow to be like Jesus. In today’s post from Luke 23:6-12, we will see Jesus interact with His critics on His way to the Cross by not responding to His critics but instead be being quiet in His response to them. At the end of the post we will learn how to give godly criticism motivated by loving God and people, as well why unhelpful criticism is so harmful.
Luke 23:6-12, “When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.”
The account in Luke 23:6-16 is found only in Luke. Luke recounts this incident to reveal that both Pilate and Herod found Jesus innocent. Herod was glad in Luke 23:8 not because he wanted to kill Jesus, but because he longed to see Jesus perform some sign. Jesus makes no answer in this passage, and His silence fulfills Isaiah 53:7, and places the responsibility for His death squarely on His accusers.
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Jesus didn’t respond to the injustice in this passage. Whenever someone asked Him to confess His true identity He testified that He was the Son of God or the King of Jews or whatever proper title they wanted to give Him. Why did Jesus refuse to say anything to defend Himself? It may have been because there was nothing else to say. Herod had already had his chance to hear the Gospel but now he had hardened his heart.
By the time that the man closed his conscience and refused to repent there was nothing left for Jesus or anyone else to say to him. This is a warning to anyone who rejects the free gift of God’s grace: eventually the day will come when He will have no more Gospel to give you. Jesus knew there was no need to defend Himself because His Father would vindicate Him at the right time by raising Him from the dead…
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