Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Ponderance

God - Doing more with less.

History is filled with examples of God doing more with less.
  • Gideon’s men. 
  • Moses vs. Pharaoh. 
  • David vs. Goliath
  • Nathan vs. King David. 
  • Joseph the slave/prisoner rises to essentially rule Egypt.
  • The Walls of Jericho vs. trumpets and jars. (A tale completely verified by modern archeology, by the way.
  • Samson vs. 1,000 warriors. 
  • Creation ex nihilo.
We are even told that the road to salvation is the “gift of God, not of works (human effort) lest anyone should boast.”

God is glorified by doing more with less. Doing so makes it impossible for people to take the credit, and honor themselves. If the God of the bible really were just a figment of the imagination of man, we would be unable to restrain ourselves from embellishing the tale. No other “religion” but Christianity proffers the concept of God lowering Himself to man. In Christianity, God pursues men. Elsewhere we find that men are enjoined to pursue God.
“Of eleven major religions of the world, ten of them teach salvation through human effort. Only Christianity recognizes the frustration and futility of man's own efforts and declares that man's salvation rests in the provision and grace of God.” 
Now consider Christ. A minimalist God-man such as Jesus would never spring from the imagination of humanity. Never. From a human perspective, Jesus is not nearly “big enough.” Even His own disciples thought so. The disciples were looking for a conqueror to end the Roman occupation. They kept waiting for the time when Jesus would declare himself an earthly king. Jesus never pretended to such a goal, saying “My kingdom is not of this world.”
Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself...

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.

I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.

This essay was adapted from a sermon by Dr James Allan Francis in “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons” © 1926
Ponder this. Would you ever conceive that world-wide influence from such a minimalist life were possible? Would anyone? Knee-jerk defensiveness, rejection, and cynicism prevent many people from seriously considering the life of Christ. If one does, one might just conclude that Jesus must be God in the flesh.

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