Let Them Alone
February 27, 2021
Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?" But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch" (Matthew 15:12-14).
Is there ever a time when a Christian stops pursuing a person with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Some say no - keep pressing the Gospel on a person; as long as there is breath, there is hope. Others say yes - if after several attempts to reach a person with the Gospel and there is no positive response, then you need to move on. In an evangelism course in seminary I was taught that it takes (on average) from 4-7 visits with the Gospel to bring a person to the threshold of decision (if the person shows any interest at all).
In sending out the disciples to prepare the towns and villages for Jesus’ visit, He instructed them, Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city! (Matthew 10:11-15).
After rebuking the elders of Israel for rejecting Him and the Gospel, Jesus said to the disciples, Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch. Was Jesus telling the disciples He was finished with them and would no longer be a witness to them? Was He telling the disciples to do the same? No.
What Jesus told the disciples was not that they should refrain from sharing the Gospel with the Scribes and Pharisees, but rather not to be afraid of them, not to be anxious about confronting them again with the Gospel. “Let them alone to do their worst. Blind leaders and blind victims will land in the ditch” (A. T. Robertson). This was the ultimate judgment of Christ upon the Scribes and Pharisees - give them the Gospel, then let God deal with them.
Our work in the Kingdom is two-fold: to plant the seeds of the Gospel and to reap the harvest when it is ripe. Between those two activities it is the work of the Holy Spirit to cause the Gospel to germinate, take root, and bring forth fruit in a person’s life. We can assist in prayer, encouragement, asking and answering questions, but we cannot do the work of the Holy Spirit.
“Lord Jesus, make us patient to wait upon the leadership of Your Holy Spirit in ministering the Gospel to others. Enable us to do our work in the ministry of evangelism and then allow You to do Your work in the ministry of spiritual birth into the Kingdom. May we anticipate fruitfulness in every person’s life, but not be discouraged when people do not respond. It is to Your honor and glory and the growth of Your Kingdom I ask, Amen.”