Daily Archives: October 18, 2018
There are two types of Christians: Those who obey the Lord and those who don’t. Those who don’t are often held in high esteem in church society. Why? Because substance matters little and image is everything?
KEEPING UP APPEARANCES
Most Christians are no different from anyone else in this world. They know that the best way to get ahead and have a better life is go along with whatever program they have ascribed to and never rock the boat. They know leadership will appreciate them much more if they simply never question anything and do all they are told. They are taught that this attitude is the way of the Lord and that the Lord is against all who refuse to toe the mark. Thus, one’s standing in church society is paramount.
The reality is that this is not so much the way of the Lord but the way of those in religious control and those under their sway. It is much easier to control the people who always do what they say and weakly succumb to their leadership.
But no clergyite can control a Spirit-led child of God.
Now, this is a very strange attitude for these people to have. They are supposed to be Christian leaders. This means they must believe in the New Covenant writings and especially the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus. All their sycophants apparently believe this about them. They consider them experts in the Word of God and thus they honor them accordingly. They also believe if they do not honor them accordingly, well then, the Lord will get them and much trouble will transpire in their lives.
But are these people really all that brilliant? The reality is that the vast majority of official clergyites actually do not have much knowledge of the Word of God at all. They claim to but most are not taught of the Lord. Many of them certainly have surface knowledge but most of what they know has been received through the prism of subjective narratives. Rather than ever being taught the pure Word of God without leaven they are instead taught according to their yeasty denominational beliefs or their own limited personal beliefs. Both are lacking and both are prejudicial toward a particular viewpoint. These vaunted people, in other words, are not independently-minded but are also controlled by senior members of their respective hierarchies. They therefore must kowtow. They must pay homage to their religious culture. Their paycheck and religious standing demands it.
OUR REAL EXAMPLE—OUR ONLY EXAMPLE
The best way to gain knowledge of this reality is to simply study the life of the Lord Jesus. No person had ever honored proper religious authority as much as He. He was raised very well. He studied Scripture, like all the youth in His culture and time, from a very early age. As a young Man, He was already extremely well-versed in the Law of Moses, the Hebrew Prophets, and the Writings. He was quiet and obedient. He never caused trouble. He blended in so well no one ever thought of Him in any way but as a dutiful and obedient young Man who brought honor to His parents, family, and community. He was known in His local synagogue but likely never stood out. No one ever suspected He was more than the humble, obscure youth they were vaguely familiar with.
Except His parents. Mary knew. Joseph knew. They experienced clear, miraculous events associated with His birth. The parents of John the Immerser also knew. And Simeon knew:
And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, and the glory of Your people Israel.” And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” [Luke 2:27-35]
Anna also knew:
And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth. The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. [Luke 2:36-40] 
But most of Israel then and later knew absolutely nothing about Him and this was also true of those in Nazareth. Next to no one had any spiritual vision. Most had dark hearts. Sound familiar? However, there were sordid rumors from that earlier time that did damage to Mary’s reputation. This is what most had believed. Some remembered and would bring it up on occasion. These rumors would later be used against Him.
I say all this to let everyone know that the Lord Jesus had an impeccable and perfect reputation. He had never sinned. No one had any dirt on Him whatsoever because there was none. He was just a great kid who grew into a perfect young adult. He was the type of child every parent would be proud of. He never rebelled, never caused any problems, always did what He was told, and grew into the epitome of the ideal Hebrew Man.
Yet, somehow or another, none of this mattered when the time came to begin His ministry. In the space of only a couple of months or so He became the most hated Man in Nazareth.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.