We Just Hate Looking Foolish!

While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50)

Just as living in a garage will not make us a car; neither will familial relationships make us true disciples of the Lord Jesus. It is only through faith in the Lord Jesus that one is cleansed and has a right standing with our Heavenly Father. This faith in Christ will produce eternal works in keeping with true repentance just as naturally as an apple tree produces an apple.

It is only through faith in the Lord Jesus that one is cleansed and has a right standing with our Heavenly Father.
It is not what we muster up; it is what we flesh out. It is that which is within us–the good fruit of the Holy Spirit–that matters. This good fruit is never produced by our own abilities, but by the root source which we draw the Holy Spirit’s all achieving power. Jesus’ words in John come to mind:

You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruitfruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (John 15:14-16)

Jesus makes this same point in our verses for today. It is only those who do the will of His Father in heaven that are rightly related to the Savior. It is those being dominated by His dominance; those being filled with the fullness of God.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
This is an ever continuing process. We never “get there” in this fallen world. We never fully comprehend God, but we can grow closer and closer to Him in our understandings. Remember, the more we know Him, the more we love Him, and the more we love Him, the more we trust Him and desire to serve Him.

Too often we want to blend in with this world. We are hesitant to take a stand for truth because we are eager to be embraced by family, peers, or even our church. Basically, we do not want to stand out by standing up. The idea that we may appear foolish or ridiculous is simply unappealing. We often prefer blending; drawing little or no attention to ourselves regarding our walk of faith. We remain silent when we should speak; disobedient when we should act; often or totally disregarding the Holy Spirit’s nudging and leading; seeking rather to go our own way and expecting God to bless our efforts.

The Bible, on the other hand, is full of people that looked foolish to the world. How about believing God, as did Abraham, when his ninety-year old wife was told she would conceive and give birth to a child? Or what about Noah building an ark with no water in sight and it had never even rained? Certainly Joshua had to have seemed foolish in simply marching around the walls of Jericho and expecting them to fall. The examples from Scripture could go on and on ending with the cross of Christ which seemed foolish to the world, but was God’s ultimate perfect plan to save the souls of men. Indeed, being trail blazers in God’s kingdom can often look as foolishness to the world.

Remember, Jesus’ place was to suffer outside the camp. A place away from the embrace of the world. It was a place of scorn–a place reserved for criminals and outcasts–just as we all are before Christ.

And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. (Hebrews 13:12-14)

Take It to Heart

“The true Christian cannot be hid, he cannot escape notice. A man truly living and functioning as a Christian will stand out. He will be like salt; he will be like a city set on a hill, a candle set upon a candlestick. But we can also add this further word. The true Christian does not even desire to hide his light. He sees how ridiculous it is to claim to be a Christian and yet deliberately to try to hide the fact.

The Bible is full of people that looked foolish to the world.
A man who truly realizes what it means to be a Christian, who realizes all that the grace of God has meant to him and done for him, and understands that, ultimately, God has done this in order that he may influence others, is a man who cannot conceal it. Not only that; he does not desire to conceal it, because he argues thus, ‘Ultimately the object and purpose of it all is that I might be functioning in this way’.” (Martin Lloyd-Jones)

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