Who Are You Listening To?

I am in the midst of reading chapters 5 & 6 in the book of John.  I’m so struck by Jesus.  I’m struck by how some believed that he was the Messiah and some didn’t.  The people knew where he came from (which made them doubt), his own brothers did not believe in him, and people were questioning if the authorities had deemed Jesus the Messiah.  So much doubt and unbelief.

When reading Scripture, I always try and put myself into the original audience of the text to give me their perspective.  If I had all the facts on Jesus and had watched him grow and knew his family or if I enlisted him to do work for me as a carpenter, would I believe that he was the Messiah?  If I saw him do miracles, would I think he was demon-possessed?  Would I question Jesus when he said that we need to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood?

After pondering these questions, I have to go back to one thing.  I look at His fruit.  I look at what He “produced.”  Jesus loved everyone He encountered.  He was always looking out for people’s best interests.  He was kind.  He gave all glory to Father God and did not seek His own glory.  He didn’t want to be famous.  He didn’t want to be the center of attention.  He wasn’t looking for a title.  He didn’t feel the need to prove himself to anyone.  HE WAS SO HUMBLE, which is so unlike our human tendency.

Humility is what sets Jesus apart.  It’s his humility that I think would have made me believe that He was the Messiah. Ultimately, Jesus humbled himself and gave his life for us.  He lived humbly while he walked this earth and he died in complete humility to His Father.

The lesson here is that we have so many voices that we can be listening to in this day and age.  We have access to more teachings now than ever, so we need to be discerning to who we listen to.  Anyone can give good lip service, but what about the fruit that they produce?  Are they humble or are they wanting to be “known”?  Are they just talking the talk but their personal lives are a mess?  Jesus both talked the talk AND was the humblest person that ever walked this earth.  What a great example we have in Jesus on how to live our lives!

You and I also have a sphere of influence.  We represent Jesus to people that may never have had a personal encounter with Him.  Are we humble in our ways or are we trying to prove ourselves?  Do we want recognition and glory or do we give it all to Him?  Pride is one of the biggest stumbling blocks that can stop us from experiencing all that God has for us.  If you remember, pride is what got Satan kicked out of heaven.  Satan loves to temp us with pride because God hates pride.  

1 Peter 5:5-6 says, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Pride makes us think that everything revolves around us.  The scary thing about pride is that it is so hard to see in our own lives, but is so easy to see in others’ lives.  We think we are hiding it, but the truth is, it’s not hidden well!  Let’s be people that press into God and ask Him to reveal any pride in our lives.  The beautiful thing is that when we ask Him to show it to us (and then He does), all we have to do is confess it (admit it) and ask for forgiveness.  Scripture tells us that once we confess it, He remembers our sins no more!!  Spend some time asking God to reveal areas of pride in your life.  Don’t be ashamed.  We all have pride in our lives in one area or another!

Lord Jesus, show us where we are holding onto prideful thoughts.  Show us where we want to “be somebody” or to whom we want to prove ourselves.  Show us how we are putting our identity in our accomplishments, awards, titles, and accolades.  Open our eyes to our selfish desires.  Forgive us Lord for taking any glory that was rightfully Yours.  Forgive us for being so concerned with ourselves and our reputation that we’ve ignored You and Your will.  Thank you, Jesus, for being the perfect teacher and for showing us what humility looks like.  Help us to be more like you Jesus!  In Your name we pray, Amen.