"These were godly men, therefore...?"

I would like to comment a little further on the doctrine of Christ that we find in Matthew 23:6-10.

"They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. "But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. "Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ."

Like myself are you all to often one who embraces the teachings of Christ but also finds that you have directed your loyalty toward a more "real world" Christianity? If so, then we need the Lord to help us your hearing of the Gospel to more faithfully distinguish between real discipleship and compromised religion? Many of us will need to overcome a bias toward historical teachers, leaders, and fathers. Have you ever found yourself using this kind of logic: "These (insert your favorite historical figures) were godly men, therefore, surely, what they did and thought was 'godly'?  ...And then tried to assure yourself that there was no further need to weigh against the standard, or measure against the final yardstick? But if that was OK then we would all be able to simply get on with the business of OUR religion. If we were to give in wholly to that mode of operation would Jesus really be our example? our standard? our Lord?  If we enthrone another standard or teacher aern't we infringing on our loyalty to Christ?  Thankfully, the Lord has not left us to ourselves.

In Matthew we have learned, not necessarily to lower our regard for Solomon, or the Old Covenant temple, or even for the old sabbath, but rather we have learned to over-arch this regard with a higher regard for Jesus as the new standard.

"Or have you not read in the Law, that on the sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. (Mat 12:5,6)

"The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.(Mat 12:41)

"The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. (Mat 12:42)

He alone is the "godly" one to which all others must bow. He alone, in the sense we are considering, is our teacher. And at some point we must learn of the joy filled truth  "It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher,...(Matt 10:25)" But to our discredit, when thinking of an example that we might look to, and associate ourselves with, manyn of us find ourselves "offended" by Jesus and scanning history for those great and godly men who also, some way or another, fell under the heading "Christian". Why would we do this?...is it the offense of the cross? When we think of "rescue and prosperity" or "messiah" we don't really like the way of Jesus Christ any more than what John the Baptist did when He finally sent the Question to Jesus asking, "Are You the Expected One, or should we look for someone else?(Mat 11:3)". Jesus did not take over or establish any of this worlds institutions. Jesus, the obedient son of God, got himself crucified without impacting the culture enough to spring His own cousin, John the Baptist, from a jail in Israel. No wonder no one can say JESUS is Christ (with its implications of rescue and prosperity)except by the Holy Spirit. And I think John may have been leaning toward an "offended" disillusionment over this Jesus. But Jesus sent word back to John about what was happening; that needy people were having needs met, and "...the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. And blessed is he who does not take offense at me".

1 comment:

  1. "Jesus" isn't exactly the best name to drop when in a predicament. Haha!