Here in America, and probably in many other parts of the world, we are so concerned with the “appearance of things,” and not so much with the “reality” of things. Often, we live our lives by how something will be perceived by others. Not that this is always a bad thing, but we do end up worrying about inconsequential things as a result.
We sweat the small stuff, and make sure all our t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted, before we step out. We make sure to put our “best foot forward” and try not to share our dirty laundry in public. But why? Why do we do all of this? To make it “appear” like we all have it together. Or, is it some version of civility we are aiming for? I don’t know, but I DO know that Jesus wasn’t concerned how he appeared. He was just Himself, and He was so REAL, it was TABOO.
I want to be so real, it’s taboo.
Incidentally, there is an interesting account given us in Luke 7 . . . John the Baptist sends two of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for someone else?” (Luke 7:19). So once John’s disciples got to Jesus and asked him that, they got the opportunity to witness Jesus healing many people of disease, blindness, and even watched as He cast out evil spirits. Afterwards, Jesus told them to go back to John and report what they had seen and heard. Now after John’s messengers had left, Jesus speaks about John to the people who had remained there, saying:
24 After John’s messengers left, He began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind? 25 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft robes? Look, those who are splendidly dressed and live in luxury are in royal palaces. 26What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and far more than a prophet.
27 This is the one it is written about:
Look, I am sending My messenger ahead of You; he will prepare Your way before You. 28 I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John,but the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
This is high praise coming from the Son of Man! He goes on in the following verses to describe the generation at hand, saying they are basically an “unresponsive Generation.”
Read this, but focus on verses 33-35.
31 “To what then should I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to each other:We played the flute for you, but you didn’t dance; we sang a lament, but you didn’t weep!33 For John the Baptist did not come eating bread or drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon! ’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! ’ 35 Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
So here we see, John was called “Demon possessed,” and can you believe it?? Jesus was called a Glutton and a Drunkard. Isn’t it funny how we can misconstrue things? Or, how people can blow things out of proportion or make a mountain out of a molehill . . . or [insert another cliche].
However, for people to call Jesus a Glutton and a Drunkard makes me wonder/ think about why He really came here and who he came for: He came here to serve, not to be served.
He came here, and enjoyed life with those He loved. He didn’t let the opinions of outsiders get in the way of living life and enjoying it to the full with normal “average Joe” sorta people . . . and, even with those of ill repute. He was one of them, one of the guys, in a way, (except he was perfect).
But, here’s a question that might rock your train of thought for a minute:
How can perfect be misconstrued as: Gluttony and Drunkenness?
And his followers (read: disciples), were not his special projects . . . O U C H . . . they were His friends.
Perhaps, we are looking at this with muddled vision- perhaps, we as humans are seeing, but not really seeing. It’s as if, there is a foggy pair of glasses covering our eyes, and we think we can see just fine.
. . . Man sees what is visible, but the Lord looks at the heart.
We have no capacity to see what isn’t plainly visible. We have no capacity for what is REAL . . . I mean, really, REAL.
Haven’t we all heard the verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 quoted to us from the King James Version of the Bible, which reads: “Abstain from all appearance of evil”? Did you know that MOST versions of the Bible didn’t translate it that way, including the New King James Version? Most versions translate that verse, in some form of this way: “Stay away from every kind of evil” Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB).
Why is this relevant? Because . . . LOOK at Christ! He was taken for a Drunkard. Is that not the epitome, of “the appearance of evil?”
We have to get out of our shells people. We have to start stepping out and going places “Good Christians” don’t go. We have to STOP worrying about the APPEARANCES so much, and just be REAL. Like Christ.
How can we be HIS HANDS, and HIS FEET, if we are so concerned about our house being messy that we can’t invite a friend over? Or, we are too worried about what it will look like if Suzie So and So, sees us hanging out with the Assiduous Hussy down the street, who is working the corner to be able to feed her kids?
We have to stop using 1 Thessalonians 5:22 as a means to shut out the world.
Appearances are not Everything.
Which does your life more resemble: Christ the drunkard, or the Pharisees (Religious Zealots)?
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