The air is heavy in John’s study. His youngest son is not happy with his tennis racquet. He wants a new one or to use his dad’s oversized racquet for his upcoming tennis class. John presses David repeatedly on why the racquet he has is not good enough. Tears began to form and tumble down his son’s cheeks. David wrestles with an inward battle John struggles to comprehend. “Son, if you won’t tell me what is wrong, how can I meet your request?” David, with a quivering voice tells him that kids would make fun of his old racquet just like they make fun of him for being short. And then his father, also a short man, understands.
John 12:42, 43-- Nevertheless, many did believe in Him even among the rulers, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, so they would not be banned from the synagogue. For they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
It would tear my heart up if my children grew up in age and grew out of faith. One day they will move out into a world that increasingly mocks anything that has to do with steadfast allegiance to Jesus Christ. They will encounter scorn for clinging to an antiquated belief in God and be pressured to become tolerant—that clever disguise for intolerance of absolutes. They will hear people state authoritatively that Jesus was a good man and splendid teacher but nothing more. They will listen to voices that dismiss scripture they don’t approve of as passages added by agenda-driven zealots. They will discover that lordship and obedience are direct threats to other’s rights to live as they please. They will be told to forget Christ or suffer the consequences.
It would tear my heart up if my children gave in to the lost to give up what they’d found. We grow up seeking human approval, popularity and acceptance all while our Father God gently offers His sufficiency. Status is a powerful drug to most of us and reveals our deep insecurity. Because of the Pharisees (those opposed to Christ), we are prone to hide our faith. For fear of ridicule, we compromise our ability to lead.
John understands that the praise of man is a powerful stimulant that will not last. To pursue it is like grasping fog. If we are to be status hunters, let it be to please God! Like John, I hope my children learn that when others make fun of them, they are in good company. I pray they will never let go of their Savior, regardless of the cost. I pray they will identify proudly with Jesus, unconcerned what others think.
He was despised and rejected by men,a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.He was like someone people turned away from; He was despised, and we didn’t value Him . . . But He was pierced because of our transgressions,crushed because of our iniquities;punishment for our peace was on Him,and we are healed by His wounds. (Isaiah 53:3,5)
Something to think about . . . in reveration.
I had the world, and it wasn't nothin'.—Muhammad Ali
©2003 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)