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Monday, March 27, 2006

Things Jesus Did Not Do

It is clear that John was very selective with the miracles and teachings of Jesus he included in his gospel. Not wanting anyone to think that these were all His works, John acknowledges at the end of his gospel, "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presences of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book -- If everyone one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." (20:30; 21:25) There is no denying Jesus accomplishments in His short life on earth are astonishing. But, while considering all that Jesus did another incredible often overlooked and rarely noted thing about Jesus surfaces-the many things Jesus did not do. Think for a few moments about all the things Jesus did not do.

This may seem an odd thing to point out. We are more accustomed to listing activity. The more a person does the more important they are. Awards are presented with speeches that chronicle the recipient's accomplishment and involvements. The more organizations and companies they are involved in the more impressed we are and the higher we esteem them. Why then bother considering what Jesus did not do?

Jesus is our example and the example He set for us includes a focused life. For Jesus doing the will of the Father was the core of His every action. "My food is to do the will of Him Who sent me and to finish His work." (John 4:24) Jesus allowed nothing to divert Him from this. Luke tells us that "Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem," and when others attempted to convince Him otherwise, He refused to be distracted. You see, faithfulness to the will of God requires not doing as well as doing - for Jesus and for us.

How did we get deluded into believing that we can and are suppose to do everything? Why have we bought into the bazaar western concept that busier is better and everyone should be able to do everything they want to do? When did we fall victim to the philosophy that abundant life is defined by how much we do? The ancient adage, "If you want to defeat them, distract them," is true both physically and spiritual. One very effective way of distracting someone is to get him/her busy doing so much they don't have time to do what they need to. As someone once said, "if Satan can't get you to sin, he makes you busy."

There was a man who lived in the desert. He dressed rather oddly, even for his day, and his diet was very unusual - locus and honey. When John wrote about this man in his gospel he simply stated that he "did no great work but everything he said about Jesus was true." This man, whose only achievement, whose only legacy, was truthful and faithful speech about Jesus, is the man that Jesus said; "among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist." (Matthew 11:11)

It is absolutely imperative that we maintain our life's focus,which must be as Jesus, the will of the Father. We need to awaken to satanic wiles of distraction. We need to recognize the fallacy that importance and greatness is determined by accomplishments. It's time for Christians to refuse to be drawn into the suicidal lifestyle of trying to do and be everything. We must be ruthless with our schedules and prayerfully prudent about everything we involve ourselves in.

Beloved, let us slow down, dare we even stop for a time, and contemplate the life of Jesus, considering not only His great accomplishments, but what He did not do as well.

Keep Close To Jesus
Pastor Gerry

A Pause To Ponder God's Word
is written and distributed by Gerald Whetstone, Ordained Elder and teacher in the Church of the Nazarene. These devotionals may be transmitted, duplicated, used in part or in entirety without permission for nonprofit purposes only.


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