Summary: Luke 9:46-62 is a passage that covers several days and events in Jesus’ life, but they are all happenings that seem to have a theme that addresses attitudes in several different ways. Every few verses at the end of chapter 9 address some new attitude. S
CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF
Herbert Keller, the former CEO of Soutwest Airlines once said: “When we select employees, we consider attitude more important than degrees and know-how. We use no psychological or aptitude testing. We don’t care much about education and experience, because we can train people to do whatever they have to do. We hire attitudes.” Now I don’t know if that is still true, but Gary Kelly, the current CEO says: “Our people are our single greatest strength and most enduring long-term competitive advantage.” Now there is a company that has a good attitude about their business and focuses on attitude and is certainly one of the better airlines to fly with. “An attitude is made up of thought, feeling, and a predisposition to act upon that thought and feeling” (Meier & Minirth 1982, pg 163). Attitude can make all the difference in the world. A bad attitude reduces one’s effectiveness and dampens the spirit of others. In fact, it is often hard to see sometimes how a bad attitude deeply affects those around you. Attitudes are central in our lives. You have heard all the old quotes from authors, leaders, and poets that tell us that attitude is of central importance in life. Your attitude can change a situation or can wreck it.
Today we are going to talk all about attitude. The word attitude is one that is only used 8 times in the whole Bible… 5 times in the Old Testament and 3 times in the New Testament:
Ephesians 4:22-24 says, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Philippians 2:3-8 teaches us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!”
1 Peter 4:1-2 records for us, “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.”
We will definitely come back to those passages today, but the base of our conversation about attitude is a passage in the Gospel of Luke. Luke 9:46-62 is a passage that covers several days and events in Jesus’ life, but they are all happenings that seem to have a theme that addresses attitudes in several different ways. Every few verses at the end of chapter 9 address some new attitude. So be ready to check your attitudes today. The phrase floating out there in pop-culture today comes from a rap song and then a movie, “Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self.” So that is what we are going to do today. We are going to check ourselves before our attitudes wreck us and cause us problems. Let’s commit ourselves to living wisely and check ourselves. Let’s look at Luke 9.
I. ATTITUDE CHECK: PRIDE
An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all-- he is the greatest."
I want you to realize what the disciples had witnessed in the few days and weeks before this passage happened. They had witnessed Jairus’ daughter raised to life and a woman healed of her bleeding (Luke 8). They had seen demons driven away (Luke 9). They had seen Jesus feed 5,000 people with one lunch (Luke 9). Three of them had seen the Transfiguration of Jesus (Luke 9). The argument may have been spurred on by the fact that only Peter, James, and John had witnessed Jesus on the mountain and now the story was being told. All of the disciples knew they were part of something big and were witnessing history in the making.