Friday, May 20, 2011

Lessons in the obvious and the obscure                                                

We’ve probably all heard about the group that’s been proclaiming the end of the world on May 21stI just don’t get how people can ignore plain teaching of Scripture and hold on to hidden obscurities.  It just doesn’t equate!
Jesus clearly stated in Matthew’s Gospel:
  • “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven…” (Mt 24:36).
  • “Keep watch because you do not know on what day your Lord comes” (Mt 24:42).
  • “The Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Mt 24:44).
  • “Keep watch because you do not know the day or the hour” (Mt 25:13). 
 And if that wasn’t enough, when they asked him later about it, he reminded them:
  • “It’s not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority” (Acts 1:7).
It just boggles my mind how someone calling themselves a follower of Jesus can ignore something so obvious!  But while it’s easy to get exasperated at these kind of doomsday predictions, the truth of the matter is we often do the exact same thing: ignore the obvious teaching of Jesus, while holding onto the obscure.

Below are a few more things – obvious things – Jesus said that we tend to ignore:
  • The “Great Commission” – Jesus told all his followers to go and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19).  We need to get involved at ‘home’ and around the world.  We can pray, give, go…but we can’t ignore him and do nothing!  It’s high time we made his last command our first priority!

  • The Poor – Jesus said to his disciples “sell your possessions and give to the poor” (Lk 12:33).
     If you read the book of Luke he actually states that 3 different times to 3 different groups (the Pharisees, the disciples, the rich ruler).  But it seems we think that since we live in the West we’re somehow let off the hook and can live as affluently as we’d like!  We’re not called to poverty, but we’re called to radical sacrifice and joyful generosity!

  • “Don’t store up treasure on earth” – Jesus said it as clear as day (Mt 6:19).  Yet for most of us (myself included) it’s just so easy to store stuff up!  But why do we think we’re exempt?  Consumerism, materialism and self-centeredness are killing the church and robbing the poor. 

  • Jesus also said, “You’ll have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word you have spoken” (Mt 12:36).  Ouch!   How many careless words do we say each day?  If Jesus is saying the truth here (and I’m quite sure he is!) then a lot of us will be in a lot of trouble when that day finally does come!
This list could go on and on!  So while it’s easy to blast doomsday predictors, I think it’d be much more fruitful if we repented of disobeying the obvious teachings of Jesus that we ourselves have ignored!

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