I heard a wonderful sermon today by Malcom Round at St. Mungo’s, Livingston. In the course of his talk, Malcolm referred to the following words from Mark Chapter 14:
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
I have found myself unable to get these words out of my mind. It is not that I have been thinking thoughts about these verses that I have never thought before. Rather, I have been feeling again the amazement I always feel when I come across these words. The setting for what we read here is that Jesus has been arrested; He is being tried unjustly; a few verses on, we read of people spitting upon Him, striking Him and mocking Him; He knew a friend at that very moment was in the process of denying Him; another friend had already betrayed Him; He knew that much worse humiliation and agony were still to come. In the midst of all that seemed to mock the very idea that He could be the Son of the Living God, He asserts that He is!
Have you faced things in your past that seem to mock the idea that you are a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, a much loved son or daughter of your Heavenly Father? Perhaps even in the present you are facing some hard to bear realities that again could easily mock the idea that you are a child of God; perhaps you are about to face something that would cause others looking on to think that a child much loved by their Heavenly Father should not have to endure such things.
My prayer is that in the face of every mocking voice or circumstance, every taunt behind which you can hear “Are you really a child of God” you will be able to say by God’s grace and strength, “Yes, actually I am. Through the cross of Christ I am a child of God. Nothing can unmake me a child of God; nothing can take that away from me. I am greatly, faithfully, sacrificially, warmly, eternally loved.” I am so glad that we have a Saviour who is familiar with what we go through, who went there ahead of His Sheep. I am so glad that the words of Corrie Ten Boom’s sister, which she first uttered in a Concentration Camp, are true; “There is no pit so deep that the love of God is not deeper still.”
One final thought: I am writing this blog on a Sunday. It may not be your status as a child of God that has been mocked today, but your calling. Whatever you feel the call of God is upon your life, whether you be a church leader, a minister, a pastor, an evangelist, a prophet, an Apostle, a Church Planter, a Welcomer at the church door, a Teacher of the young, someone who leads worship etc. etc., it is entirely possible that this day has had sufficient in it to mock the idea of ever thinking you were called and equipped by God to do something in His Kingdom. That can come about through lack of affirmation or response, or it can come about because of downright nastiness among the people of God. Some of God’s children can be really horrible, their tongues, eyes and cold shoulders wounding at times; sometimes deliberately so, but more often in a thoughtlessly discouraging way.
Of course the mocking voice can come from within ourselves as well, but wherever we have heard that tone today, what and who do you think is its source? Certainly not the God who is for you, not against you! Jesus was astonishingly blunt when it came to confronting things being said that had a dark source. He did not say “Be silent please, ” in a pleading almost apologetic way. He said, “Be throttled!” Maybe you have a bit of “throttling” in the name of Jesus to do before the day is out…by the way, remember not to throttle people but what lies behind their words! I have been throttled 3 times in my life physically… not a nice experience…
I will leave the overtly Charismatic bit aside…until now, right at the end of this blog. You may well discover this astonishing phenomena; if you throttle the source in the Name of Jesus, you may hear words sticking in the throat of a flesh and blood person, almost as though the person is choking; they will become unable to speak, to say what they were in the midst of saying. Who knows, the fear of the Lord may grip you both… not a bad result.
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