My Thoughts . . .
When I was in college from 1954 to 1958, I made the mistake of using the expression “Mr.” to address one of my teachers. He quickly informed me that his title was “Doctor.” From that day forward I always addressed him with “Doctor.” Later, in Graduate School, even though all of my professors had their doctorate, we addressed them as “brother” without being corrected. One professor had a doctorate in the Old and another in the New Testament. Although all of my professors were great teachers, brother Lewis was my favorite. A student had to make a “B” or better to pass his courses. In my last year I was sitting next to Dr. Jack Lewis eating dinner. I remarked that in two years of study at the Graduate School, I did not have a class under him that last semester. Without looking up he remarked, “Some come to study and some come to play.” There was no “playing” in Graduate School!
The college professor had one doctorate while brother Lewis had two. Both deserved to be referred to as “Doctor.” due to their accomplishment in earning their degree(s). There was also a matter of respect which that achievement deserved resulting in a student referring to his professor by that title. Sometimes one will cross paths with an individual who is “Title Happy.” Although an individual may have worked diligently to earn his degree and etiquette requires the student to recognize what was earned, the achievement may produce an inflated attitude.
The apostles mistook Jesus’ “Messiahship” thinking it was an effort to throw off Roman occupation and restore the kingdom of David. They argued over who would be his right and left-hand man. Peter and another apostle joined him to supply their swords to support him. If anyone attempted to stop Jesus in his quest to rule, their swords were ready to bring first blood. They knew opposition was growing among the priesthood against Jesus when they sat down to eat the Passover meal. Then this Messiah King did the unbelievable. He took a towel and a container of water and lowered his status to serve them as a slave by washing their feet. One apostle left the group on his way to finalize the arrangements to arrest Jesus. Jesus informed the rest why that individual had left, but the understanding was so warped that they could not fathom what that apostle was doing. Peter attempted to protect Jesus from the crowd that came to arrest him. He continued to misunderstand Jesus’ purpose. Plans to cast off the Roman bondage disappeared and was displaced with darkness which hid Jesus’ frightened followers. John made his way to the Judgment Hall where Jesus had been taken. Peter, who had been so vocal in supporting Jesus, was now more interested in separating himself from that connection. A rooster began its morning ritual which demanded Peter’s attention. Denial quickly turned into tears.
Jesus was God’s Messiah, but he did not become indignant when that recognition was withheld from him. He was brought before Rome’s authority as well as Jewish, but he was not “Title Happy.” He was beaten and ridiculed, but he did not demand that his tormentors be struck dead for their deeds. Even today, fiery meteorites do not light up the skies to fall upon those who use his name in vain. Some then refused to recognize Jesus as the Son of God, but heaven did not reward them with immediate death.
When judgment does come, swearing will turn to loud pleas of regret. Disbelief will disappear with recognition that it is too late. “Hell” will no longer be a word to swear in order to impress, but a reality to be suffered. Man’s judgment will evaporate as the Lord’s will is revealed. The elitists who before had asked, “Do you know who I AM?” will know who he IS. God knows those who are His and will call them by name. The titles that will be appreciated will be “Christian,” or “my child” rather than “Doctor.” “President,” or “I am somebody.”