I am directly ripping most of these thoughts from my Pastor, but I am passing them on to you as I feel led to this morning. Maybe it is something that needs to be said to someone. Maybe this is a reminder for me.
Imagine following a man who claims to be the Son of God. And, you watch him in many places doing amazing things like turning water into wine, healing the sick, raising the dead.
Then, an even BIGGER thing happens.
One day, you see this guy, who you are following, transform. The appearance of his face changes and his clothes become as bright as a flash of lightning… and, all of the sudden, he is chatting with well-known and long-since dead Moses and Elijah.
Shortly after, you go out again and watch as your master heals a boy with an evil spirit. And, when that is done, and everyone – including yourself – is marveling at the event, your master whispers to you and your fellow followers: “Listen, the Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.”
Your master, who clearly is doing things that only God could do, is telling you that he is in peril. What do you do?
I like to think that I would ask my master what this meant. I would want to strategize and plan for ways to protect my master from this danger. No way is my master going to get taken! I would be like Mel Gibson as William Wallace, on horseback, cheering on my brethren in our quest to protect our master: “Gentlepeople! We are not letting our master get betrayed into the hands of men!”
What did the Apostles immediately do, according to Luke 9?
It says that “they were afraid to ask [Jesus] about it.”
They were not too afraid, unfortunately, to start arguing about who was going to REPLACE their master.
An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest.”
So, their focus on their master’s announcement that he was in danger was to figure out who could be leader when the master was gone. Greed to the highest extreme.
And, then, extreme arrogance – the kind of extreme arrogance that we see in a lot of places – even here on the Internet.
“Master,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
We see this kind of thing everyday among different denominations of Christians. “Such and such isn’t saved because she does this. Such and such isn’t saved because he listens to Joel Osteen. Such and such isn’t saved because he voted for Obama. Such and such isn’t saved because she doesn’t speak in tongues.”
“Whoever is not against you is for you.”
The Word for today: As Christians, we need to focus on helping others, and not ourselves. We must focus on loving others and not spending our limited time here on earth pointing fingers… unless we are pointing the way to our Master.
Thank you, Lord, for this holiday message! Amen.