28/04/2021 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
As seen in the Village Voice and HEARTbeat
Ever been to a high school class reunion? And I don’t mean the five or ten-year reunion. I’m talking about a twenty or thirty-year event. You see people walking in the door, stop at the “name tag” table, and continue into the venue. The game everyone is playing is trying to recognize the person before they get close enough where you can see the “Hi my name is” tag. Some people are easy to recognize. Some are a little more difficult. And there are those classmates you just don’t recognize.
Once all the ice has been broken, the reminiscing begins. You catch up on the paths your classmates have taken, and how most are parents and even some grandparents! Some of them have been quite successful, while others have taken paths you would not have guessed. You just wouldn’t recognize them in the chosen fields, regardless how much they try to convince you otherwise.
Many people approached Jesus during His time here on earth. They called Him “Teacher,” “Rabbi,” “Master” and many other names, but few called Him “Messiah.” When the Pharisees and Sadducees approached, they called Jesus these names (but never Messiah) to acknowledge His wisdom and position among the people, but they never really saw Jesus as “one of them.” He was not educated in the finest schools, learning the law and the prophet under renowned Rabbis such as Nicodemus and Gamaliel. Regardless of what came out of their mouths, Jesus knew the contempt they had for Him in their hearts.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus teaches about the fruit in peoples’ lives. He said there will be much fruit born out of people, some of it good and some bad. There will be many “good looking” people who fool people by their beauty, thus making their words more acceptable. They will claim to know scripture and will even teach with great eloquence. But in their hearts, their contempt for the truth runs deep.
When Jesus spoke about the Great Judgement, He said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Some will be fooled by the false fruit spewing from the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Jesus said beware. Good fruit comes from good trees, but only bad fruit can come from bad trees.
Regardless of what people say with their lips, some do not go about kingdom work. In the end, those who even called Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” yet were wolves in sheep’s clothing will not enter Heaven. Jesus flatly said, “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers.’”
The Holy Spirit will help discern what is of God and what is not. Rely on His presence in you to guide and direct your path, all the while helping you recognize evil.
We won’t need a “Hi my name is” tag with Jesus. If He is your Savior, He knows your face, your voice, and your fruit. Well done good and faithful servant!