Summary: Cheeks bright red. Eyes averted. Head ducked in shame. There are some questions that should still embarrass us. However, red cheeks may just lead to changed hearts!
Pt. 1 - Lip Locked
We all like to put our best foot forward. No weaknesses exposed. Vulnerability hidden. Humanness shrouded. The only problem is that our perfectly wrapped and packaged facade is often interrupted by embarrassing and cheek coloring moments. Things that make you blush!
Society likes to portray and paint Jesus as this passive, gentle, and even soft man. Yet, the truth is that He was controversial, confrontational, and had a tendency to ask people questions that would have reddened their cheeks in embarrassment. We prefer the nice, polite, appropriate Jesus. However, Jesus asked some questions that were knee bucklers. Jesus would look Pharisees, tax collectors, and His own disciples right square in the eyes and pose questions to them that would cause the blood from their toes to shoot up their necks, into their cheeks, and cause them to look away and duck their heads. We like to read these same questions as if they are only for those folks. Perhaps we should read them with our name in RED! These questions that Jesus posed are questions that should invoke the same response in us. These questions should cause us to blush but more importantly should cause us to change!
Text: Luke 6:46 (NIV) 46-47 (Message)
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
“Why are you so polite with me, always saying ‘Yes, sir,’ and ‘That’s right, sir,’ but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on.”
Insert your own name and read them.
What an embarrassing question. Jesus isn't talking to nonbelievers. He isn't addressing the vilest of sinners. He isn't dialoging with prostitutes, drunkards, or drug pushers. No . . . He is talking to His chosen 12 and the crowds who were following Him. The chapter after witnessing a boat swamping catch of fish, a man lowered through a roof to be healed and in the same passage where they witnessed Jesus heal the man with the withered hand He turns and verbally slaps His followers in the face. You have seen the power. You have witnessed the supernatural for yourself. You have verbalized that I am Lord and yet you still don't do what I say to do! Ackward! Pregnant pause! Stare at the feet moment! We should feel bad for the disciples. We should duck our heads in shame for them! We should feel the burn of a blush for . . . us?
The disciples had only the few days or weeks of experience with Jesus. They only had a few moments of proof. They had yet to walk forward through the feeding of the 5,000, the Transfiguration, the healing of the blind men, the healing of the lepers, and ultimately His resurrection. So we can cut them some slack. But what about us? We have the luxury of reading the account of all those miracles and more. We should be able to entertain this same question and never flinch! And yet, I wonder when asked the same question if we too shouldn't blush
a. Are you a follower or an obeyer?
A child can follow their parent and not obey their parent. How many of us follow Christ but fail to obey Him and do what He says to do? We have been overtaken by the plague of disobedience! We want to announce Him as Lord and yet our lack of obedience dethrones Him! Many follow . . . few obey!
Are you doing what He says . . . period? We want His words to be suggestions rather than commands.
Jesus had already taught His followers many things. In fact, this crimson question immediately follows what we call the Sermon on the Mount. He informs them exactly how they should live and then recognizes that His followers weren't living out what He was saying!
Has anything really changed? In the Sermon on the Mount and in other teachings He says to forgive we seek revenge. He says let go of grudges we harbor hard feelings for decades. He says turn the other cheek we go for the jugular. He says to love our enemies we facebook and twitter about them instead. He says to gather together for strength we like the lake. He says serve and we are selfish. He says that we should practice humility we strut and prance as if we are the center of the universe! He says to take care of those who are in need we buy another pair of shoes or a new boat! He demanded that we be separate but he's cute or she's hot! He says to tithe we tip. He says honor authority we want our rights! He says honor parents we say we are grown! He says obey we negotiate.