One of the most profound revelations we get about ourselves in Scripture is just how valuable we are to God. All through 66 books of the Bible, the message cuts through the static: “I love you, come back to Me.”. It’s in this context that our souls are awakened and we find new meaning in the spiritual significance of life as opposed to wrapping our identities in the mean and mundane trappings of materialism. We become followers of Christ, Children of God…Christians. And then for some reason, we seem to lose our minds.
We begin to assume a certain transcendence of position and knowledge because of the truth we embrace…and a whole new world of false identity begins to snug around us…we fall prey to religious pride. It’s easy to have happen…it sneaks up on us without us even noticing it. It happened to the disciples pretty early on, and Jesus had to deal out a serious smack-down to the prideful attitude that was beginning to bubble up among his crew.
We’ll be reading Luke 9:46-56 this Sunday. (By the way, I appreciate the comments and even the emails I received concerning last weeks meeting/message. I’m in awe at how God is moving in new ways in our community)
In the section we’ll be looking at, we will see the disciples falling prey to a form of religious pride in regard to three different areas of relating to people. Among themselves (v46-48), among other believers who weren’t part of THEIR group (v49-50), and toward those who are actively opposing the message of Christ (v51-56). In each case, self was at the center of the dispute. In each case, Jesus corrects their attitude and behavior with a counter response (ie: instead of doing this, do that).
Which of these vignettes hits closest to home for you? Do you identify with the disciples at any of these junctures? What counter response seems the most difficult to you to embrace?
If there’s one thing that’s clear…Jesus makes no room for prideful attitudes among His ranks. This is the work He does in shaping us into the people we were meant to be.
See you Sunday!