Ready or Not
Ready or Not
Ready or Not
When we think about serving others one of the first questions that comes to mind is usually, what should we do?
We talk often about being the example that we need to be, but what does that look like when put into action?
If you have ever heard Nick Saban speak you may have heard him say the following, “What you do speaks so Loudly I cant hear what you are saying.”
This statement can easily be transferred and used in the area of Christian Living.
There are some things that we need to do that will not only teach others, but will also allow us to be the example that Christ would have us to be.
We need to get out of the boat.
The apostles were terrified when they saw Jesus walking on the water. Each of the individuals in the boat could not reason how it was possible that they were seeing what they were seeing. Jesus recognized the fear that they had and he attempts to calm their fear by saying to them “It is I.”
As Jesus reminded all in the boat that it was him and they should not fear there is two things that we can focus on at this point. We can get caught up with the fact that Peter eventually lost his faith and began to sink. Rather than that perspective let us look at what Peter actually did. He was the only one who was willing to actually get out of the boat.
When Peter exited the boat he was completely focused on Christ. It was not until he began to focus on the elements and things that he could not control that he began to sink. I don’t know what it looked like when Jesus and Peter were walking back to the boat but I picture Jesus with his arm around Peter and a smile on the faces of both men. Yes Peter did begin to struggle, but he was also the only one willing to step out of the boat.
We must not be in the TShirt business.
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus had taken the opportunity to give the disciple a great phrase to live by. That he came not to be served but to serve. I know each and everyone of us today could see that on a T-Shirt. That would be a great shirt for everyone of us to wear today as we get out in the community and work. Can you imagine the impact that would have on everyone that was able to see that shirt when we wore it in public?
Now lets envision for just a moment this taking place in real-life. We are all in a setting together and this comment has just been made. We have just finished listening to Christ and we are now beginning to take a journey with him. We are leaving and we are pumped up about what we are going to do for others. Not very long after we have this feeling we encounter a man who is blind and begging. He stops and he starts to call out to Jesus for help. And the people with Jesus react. In fact they are very quick to try to silence the man because they think they know the purpose for Christ and there is no way that someone is going to get in the way of this group that wants to follow the one “who came to serve and not to be served.”
Jesus asks the same question to Bartimaeus that he asked to James and john back in verse 36. He said what do you want me to do. This time though Bartimaeues answers with humility where James and John asked for prestige. Jesus was not only in the business of saying things that were extremely powerful he was willing to do what he said he would do.
We need to count sheep.
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Are we satisfied with the 99 that are here or do we focus on the one that is missing. The easy answer I know is that we all say that we are willing and ready to go look for the one that is missing. That is the correct answer, but do we put that answer into action? Let us answer that question with a much deeper question. Are we prepared for the 1 that is lost to show up. Here is what I mean by that. There are those people that used to worship with us that are no longer here for one of many possible reasons. If they showed up we would be happy and rejoice just like the parable of the sheep. Now to the hard part. What if the person that showed up was someone that you didn’t get along with, someone that had wronged you, maybe even someone that had done something to directly affect your life in a negative way. Would you still be willing to welcome that person with the same open arms as you would the other people that you may come in contact with?