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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Sunday, April 7, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Mark 3:7–12

Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!” But he sternly ordered them not to make him known. (NRSV)

So, Jesus is kind of a popular guy, big crowds coming from all over, lots of followers, and isn’t that what’s important? So many followers that he has to have his entourage arrange safe transportation so he can get away without being crushed. That’s, as they say, a highly successful tour. Even though the set list is always kind of the same: Talk about the kingdom of God and heal the sick. And it’s that last one, healing the sick, that’s what people really come to see. That’s the show stopper. People rush the stage (or wherever) and eventually his posse has to come get him away from them. Even the haters call out, “You are the Son of God!”

Pretty strong stuff. I mean, it would go to anyone’s head. Except this guy. This Jesus guy, he actually goes out of his way to tell people not to say anything. Even the haters, crying out “You are the Son of God!” Jesus never says, “Yeah, you’re right, you unclean spirit! I am the Son of God! Now get out of my way!” Instead, he says “Don’t say that.” “Don’t tell anyone.”

Wouldn’t you hate to be Jesus’ agent? He has no talent for self-promotion. I mean, what kind of career is he ever going to have? You can’t just walk around doing good and expect anyone to notice. And what’s worse is that Jesus doesn’t seem to care.

It’s almost like he’s rejecting the trappings of stardom, like he’s making every appearance about the people who come to see him rather than about him. For a guy who’s got it all, he sure doesn’t act like it.

This “humility” stuff. It’s almost like he takes it seriously. If he’s not careful, these people will bleed him dry.

And the funny thing is, sometimes it seems like he’d be OK with that.

Lord, thank you for teaching us that the spotlight should always remain on those in need and that it’s not about ourselves but about what we can do for others. Help us to express that same humility you showed in your life. Amen.

Written by Rob Koon, Coordinator of Fine Arts

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