Thursday, December 8, 2016
Jesus was the Son of God, yet he washed the feet of his disciples, a work normally performed by slaves (John 13:4-5). He was the Word who became flesh, yet he prepared breakfast for the apostles (John 21:12-13). Children were usually seen but not heard, yet he brought them into his ministry (Matthew 19:13-14; Mark 10:14-16). A Rabbi avoided women, but Jesus didn’t hesitate to teach them (Luke 10:38-42). Jews didn’t have fellowship with Samaritans, yet the King of kings asked a Samaritan woman for water (John 4:1ff). Jews stoned women caught in the act of adultery, but Jesus refused to condemn one (John 8:11). Diseases caused Jewish men to avoid the sick to keep from becoming unclean, yet Jesus, walked among them (Mark 5:31; Luke 8:45-46).
Yet, Jesus never picked up an oar to assist the apostles in rowing the boat nor in hoisting the sail (Mark 4:35-39). He never assisted in pulling in the nets that were full of fish (John 21:5-6). He allowed women to follow and minister to him rather than taking care of himself (Matthew 27:55; Mark 15:41; Luke 23:49, 5). He didn’t go into town to retrieve the animal he would ride (Matthew 21:2). He did not go himself to find a room to observe the Passover (Matthew 26:18). He did not help in preparing the Passover meal (Matthew 26:19).
Have you ever engaged in a “work of the church” which someone else wasn’t involved in? Have you ever been critical of that person because they were not doing what you were? Was there a slight hint in you that you were being “more spiritual” than they were? You were doing the Lord’s work, but they weren’t? Did you also entertain a martyr’s complex because they weren’t making any effort to help you (Luke 10:40)?
Was Jesus too lazy to help row or hoist a sail or pull in a net? Was he “too good” to retrieve a donkey, prepare his own meal, find the upper room, or to help prepare things in observance of Passover? If he had just been an “average” member rather than the Savior, wouldn’t he have been criticized for failing to “pitch in”?
As far as the high priest, the Jewish court, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the somebodies were concerned, Jesus needed crucifying. He wasn’t worthy of life but needed to be dead. They knew their Bible. They were the professors. They had been schooled at the best institutions. They had sat at the feet of the best teachers with the proper credentials. They were recognized and appreciated. He was only a carpenter’s son. He was from Nazareth (John 1:46). Whatever miracles he performed were given to him by the power of the devil (Matthew 12:24)! His disciples were a mix-matched group of ignorant and unlearned men (Acts 4:13). Messiahs had come and gone. He was just another troublemaker. They knew what was best for the people and their nation. This young, self taught Rabbi wasn’t it. They were successful, successful in failing to recognize “a God thing” or “a God event”! Some today continue to use their measuring stick!
Perhaps, when we elevate ourselves to demote others, we may be aligning ourselves with the Jewish court rather than with Jesus? We may also be blind to what others are doing which we are not engaged in! Their work may be “a God thing.” Is yours? How do we measure success?