One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. Luke 14:1 (NIV)
We are told that Jesus was being carefully watched. We don’t know if this means that the prominent Pharisee invited him with ulterior motives, or perhaps it was the other guests who were skeptical about Jesus. Either way, this was not a relaxing environment for Jesus.
Let’s assume that the invitation was sincere, and that the prominent Pharisee was drawn to Jesus, in much the same way as Nicodemus had been. He was curious and he wanted to know more.
There is a spiritual hunger in every person. The Pharisees were rigorous in their spiritual disciplines of prayers and giving, but even within the heart of the most disciplined, moral person there is something that cries out: “There must be more to knowing God than this!”
Those who follow Jesus will be watched in the same way as Jesus was watched. People are watching for two things. First, Do you have something we don’t? That’s why the crises of our lives are our most important ministry opportunities. The way we handle disappointments, frustrations, rebellious children, financial loss, and sudden illness are the things that will show if we have something that the world does not know.
Second, Do you practice what you preach? People are looking for a vindication of their position. They are looking for any evidence they can find that will support their unbelief. That is why there will always be widespread publicity when a Christian leader fails. This is good news for the person who has chosen to live without Christ. It seems like a vindication of their decision.
Are you aware that people are watching you?