October 5, Saturday

Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend, written by Pastor Ryun Chang, was originally posted on February 21, 2013.

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Apart from Me You Can Do Nothing” (1)

Matthew 21:6-11

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

The crowd wildly cheered as Jesus, riding on a donkey, entered Jerusalem just before his crucifixion. If the donkey mistakenly believed that the cheers were for him, how silly that would be.  While that was highly unlikely, the same cannot be said about us since we have an unlimited desire for self-aggrandizement and recognition.  

Jesus’ disciples were no exceptions since they often discussed who was the greatest among them.  Once when Jesus asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” they said nothing because “they had argued about who was the greatest” (Mk 9:33-4).   The disciples didn’t stop there; they had the same discussion right after Jesus revealed that one of them would betray Him. Initially shocked and sad over this closure, it didn’t stop them from “disput[ing] . . . among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest” (Lk. 22:24).  About to be arrested and crucified the next day, I wonder what the Lord must have been thinking at that moment: “Father, this isn’t going to work. Is it possible to postpone the crucifixion for a week so I can replace these ‘clowns’ with more qualified people?”  Well, that’s me talking, mind you.

We can be sure that God, who “opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” will not tolerate such attitudes.  Before using us, God will teach us that apart from Christ, we can do nothing. That process, I found out throughout my life, isn’t always pretty, meaning I had to eat humble pie on many occasions. It’s a lesson that we need to be reminded of constantly, that is, if we desire to be used by the Lord who will not give his “glory . . . to another” (Is. 48:11).

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 5-6

Prayer: Lord, teach me to be humble and curb my desire to draw attention to myself; instead, remind me to give all the credit to where the credit is due—You, my Lord, Amen.

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