“‘We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work.'” – John 9:4-5
There’s something about having company that spurs me to work. Removing dust and clutter, vacuuming the carpet, sweeping floors, and–ugh!–scrubbing the bathroom, I diligently prepare. More than once, company has arrived while I’m still scurrying about. Thankfully these visitors are usually family–or at least like family. Nonetheless, I’m embarrassed when they come and find me still getting ready. I suppose I need to work on time management too.
Jesus spent every minute wisely and well. Sent to earth by His Father to work, Work. He. Did! From sun-up to sundown–probably through the night sometimes–Jesus fulfilled His Father’s wishes. Focused and motivated, He healed the sick, fed the hungry, forgave sinners, and cast light into darkness. Daily living His Father’s will, Jesus never acted on His own initiative (see John 5:19, 30).
Additionally, the way Jesus worked significantly impacted what He did. Consider the disparity between His treatment of the Pharisees versus His treatment of sinners. Concerning those who prided themselves for spiritual correctness, Jesus stunningly called them “whitewashed tombs” (Matthew 23:27). He warned others of their influence and referred to them as “blind guides of the blind” (Matthew 15:14). In contrast, Jesus met the broken sinner with utmost mercy and love. Using kind words replete with hope, He freely forgave and offered new life. Yes, multitudes were drawn to Him due to His power, but also because of His illustrious character and intriguing words. Jesus’ compassion and love never waned. Though He often conversed with Pharisees in brutal bluntness, He graciously spoke to those who recognized their need for Him.
Unfortunately we Christians occasionally mix these treatments up. Intermittently approaching the spiritually lofty and elite with utmost respect, we overlook and thereby feed hypocrisy. Yet we sometimes sorrowfully offend fellow sinners by oozing superior attitudes and categorizing them according to our judgment. Jesus didn’t act like this. Why do we kiss up and lash out?
Many of you know that my son, Everett, publicly shared his story this past October. Poignantly and transparently, he communicated his struggle with same-sex attraction and his decision to walk away from homosexuality. So many have reached out to him in Christ’s love and supported him. What an awesome showing of the body of Christ! (Heartfelt thanks and appreciation to you from me as his mom!) At the same time, we can do more. Homosexuality maintains tremendous prevalence today. Generally speaking, there exists a divide between Christians and those struggling with or openly living in homosexuality. Not too long ago, I heard a Christian friend derogatorily refer to a famous homosexual with open disdain. Tragically it’s been said Christians are known as “gay-haters”. Dear ones, this ought not be! A person enacting homosexual behavior is simply an individual who needs the Lord Jesus Christ … who needs to experience His compassion and love through us. While I periodically commit sins like selfishness and resentment, those who act out homosexually engage in that particular sin. We’re all sinners in need of God’s mercy and grace. Christians’ words and actions should spring from humility as we recognize this truth.
Regrettably a critical mindset also was displayed when I stood outside an abortion facility. Though some sincerely reached out in Christ’s love, one held an extremely harsh sign depicting the devil. This same person or another yelled something about murder to a few people entering the facility. I cringed. How does condemnation contribute to God’s kingdom? Conducting ourselves in such a manner inaccurately represents Christ to those in desperate need of Him. Truly a self-righteous attitude repels everyone.
But Jesus …
“… Never did a man speak the way this man speaks” (John 7:46). His words are true, His heart is pure, and His earthly works originated from His Father. Soon our Lord Jesus Christ is returning for His bride, the Church. Let’s not be embarrassed when He arrives. Instead, let’s be like Jesus: accomplishing the works God has prepared for us–in the right way.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16