Summary: People with humility don’t deny their power; they just recognize that it passes through them, not from them.
We have begun our journey into an understanding of what it means to be disciple of Christ. We’ve talked about the issue that sometimes we tend make becoming a disciple too hard, and too often when we here the word disciple, we tend to cringe and hide. It’s not that we don’t want to serve God, we may think…“man, I don’t know if I can do all the ‘stuff’ that goes with being a disciple.”
During the last two Sundays, we learned we can make a difference. We explored the reality that being a disciple really is not that hard. All God is asking of us is to carry the light of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ into the darkness of the world. We learned, much to our relief that God is not asking us to save the world… in fact, we learned there’s nothing WE can do to save the world. God asks of us, what He expects of us, what our responsibility is as a Real Christian is to serve God by living what we claim to believe and let our lives be the beacon of hope to the hopeless.
We recalled what happens when we turn on a light outside on a summer evening, how the insects are drawn to the light. Not by anything we have done, other than to turn on the light... to bring light into the darkness. And so too it is with each of us when we take the light of Christ into the darkness of the world in which we live. If we truly live the life we claim as Christians, that is, “Authentic Christians,” the light of the Love of Jesus will drawn the lost to Him. We are invited to participate with God, witness Him at work, know Him better and grow closer to Him.
We who say yes, yes I believe in you, my Lord. We believe you are the Son of God, we believe the You are the living Word of God, both when you walked the earth in the flesh, and now, as you are the Living Word written in this Bible. You live within us through the love of the Holy Spirit. There is within us a blazing, burning ultra bright light of hope, grace, compassion and love that begs to shine through us.
As “authentic” Christians, we stand for and serve Jesus Christ, building up our treasures in heaven. Surely, this is a good thing. However, having that peace and hope, we must be careful not to appear to others as someone who has a special secret; as someone who projects a demeanor of being “holier than thou.”
God invites us to share His gift. “Gift,” that is the key isn’t it. The “real”, the “authentic” Christian realizes He or she has done nothing to deserve this gift. In truth, we can nothing do to earn the gift. Jesus Christ purchased this gift for us, there, on the Cross... Yes, He purchased this gift for each single one of us in this building today. And here is the Good News, He offers this gift to all, and He invites us to be a part of His plan to share the Gift with the world. He asks, will you take the gift I’ve given you, this light of hope and share it with the world? Take this light, let the lost be drawn and let Me bring them into the family of God.
At some point in our Christian walk, I think many, if not most of us have encountered some folks who have developed a sort of messiah complex. They believe it is their job is to save the world. That is not our job. Only One Person can save the world and He did.
John Ortberg, in his book The Life You’ve Always Wanted, presents this point in an amusing way, by discussing three mental patients, each of whom had a clinical case of the Messiah complex. Here is his account:
Leon, Joseph and Clyde all suffered from a messiah complex. It was not just a touch of narcissism or a dash of grandiosity. They were three chronic psychiatric patients at a hospital in Ypsilanti, Michigan, all diagnosed with psychotic delusional disorder, grandiose type. Each one maintained he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Each one believed he was the central figure around whom the world revolved: the three little messiahs.
Psychologist Milton Rokeach wrote The Three Christ’s of Ypsilanti about his attempts to help these men come to grips with the truth about themselves and learn to be just Leon, Joseph and Clyde.
Rokeach spent two years working with the men, but change came hard. It was as if they were not sure they could bear to live if they weren’t who they thought they were. They could be very rational in other aspects of life but, as Rokeach put it, they would hold onto messianic delusions "even though they are grotesque, ego-defensive distortions of reality."