Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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What do we Really Think of the Lord?

Meditation for the week of January 22, 2012

Luke 4:22  So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, "Is this not Joseph’s son?"

The Lord spoke with authority, that is, He knew what He was talking about.  He wasn’t like the Pharisees who knew what the books said about God but who didn’t know God.  In this passage, the people marveled at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth.  Grace seemed to be attractive to the Jews because the religion of law as taught by the Pharisees was not very gracious.  But while everything the Lord did and everything He said, attracted people to Him and convinced them that He was different, He just didn’t measure up to their concept of what the Messiah should be like.  After all he was raised in Nazareth, a town that was not very “regal”.  He was a carpenter and the son of a carpenter.  He didn’t have a lot of financial or political clout.  I am sure that most people thought his mother had been immoral since she was pregnant with Him before she was married.  Even though that society didn’t have cell phones or TV’s or the internet, I have no doubt that it still had gossips who made sure that his friends and neighbors would be aware of His mother’s so-called indiscretion.  Joseph’s Son just didn’t seem like the kind of man Who would be the Jewish Messiah and our Savior. 

Later in this passage the Lord mentions that no prophet is accepted in His own country.  Some people have said that an expert is anyone who travels 50 miles away from home and there may be some truth to that.  The people we grow up with are not usually the people that we idolize.  The preachers we grew up with are often not the ones who get our attention when we are older.   The people we do support normally have to be from “away” but they still have to be “like” us.   People who are not “like us” may not talk right, they may have the wrong color of skin, they may have the wrong friends, they may not be able to help us advance socially or politically or in business.  As a result we often by-pass the talent God would choose for the talent that men think is better.  We miss out on great blessing because we disdain the people God has chosen and we honor the ones He has not 

King David was not the son of Jesse that Samuel would have chosen to be King.  He had brothers who had much more regal bearing than David did.  But the youngest son of Jesse became the King that was a man after God’s own heart.  The Lord used a lad’s lunch to feed a multitude, He allowed a woman who was a sinner to demonstrate true devotion by anointing the Lord with fragrant ointment, He turned a woman who wasn’t married to her current “man” into an evangelist.  The apostle Paul apparently had trouble giving speeches and yet the Lord used Him and his preaching carried weight.  These are not the people that men would have chosen to use, but they were the ones the Lord chose to use.

As mentioned above, one of the reasons that the Lord was rejected was because He didn’t fit the Jewish concept of a King.   Isaiah says in Isaiah 53:2, “And when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.”  He didn’t have “regal” beauty.  The Lord came from the wrong family, from the wrong town and had the wrong occupation.  Men look for physical beauty, social status and power.  The Lord looks for the humble faithful servant.  How many people have been hindered in their work for the Lord because they didn’t measure up to our expectations?  Many people have been chosen by men to be leaders and preachers in the church because of attributes that were attractive to us, but some of these people have divided God’s people and perverted His Gospel.

Is it possible that just as the Lord was not honored because of what people thought they knew about Him that we could also miss prophets, teachers,  evangelists and elders that the Lord has sent our way?  Has our self-centeredness and desire to be associated with the “right” people caused us to miss out on great blessing? 

The Lord was rejected by the religious people and by those who were influenced by their power.  Thank God for those of us who have truly accepted Him as well as the people that He chooses to serve Him.

Bruce Collins

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