Beyond words: How not to glorify oneself – Part 1
(Luke 7: 18-23)
(18) And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. (19) And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, art thou he that should come? Or look we for another? (20) When the men were to come unto him, they said, John the Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, art thou he that should come? Or look we for another? (21) And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plaques, and of evil spirit; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. (22) Then Jesus answering said unto them, go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. (23) And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
Jesus Christ, no doubt, set the standard for the world on what is expected of us, whenever we are faced with either decision-making or all other things, in which our attitude and actions will show that we are children of light. During provocations, Jesus Christ never betrayed any emotion, but applied wisdom in tackling the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
When healing people from their infirmities, He never for once gave credit (glory) to Himself, but always to God the Father. His compassion for people also was beyond words, which visibly showed, when He decided to feed the people He was ministering to (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:31-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:1-14) and the great sacrifice of making Himself available as sacrificial Lamb for our salvation.
In all of the aforementioned and many more, Jesus Christ made it very clear to us, both in actions and in counselling, that the expression through words, of who we are and all that ‘we have achieved’, undermines the reward associated with those who serve God wholeheartedly.
It is unexpected of us to proudly express it to others, of how ‘we have been the pillar’ of our church, and as the uninformed and the ungodly people would always say, “Without me, that ministry would never have been where it is today.”
Therefore, contrary to what Jesus Christ stood and forever stands for, the use of words by oneself to advertise through fliers and other publicised medium, those ‘we have healed,’ is nothing but an anti-Christ way of giving glory to ourselves and not Him, Who is actually working through us. This passage detailed the best of the opportunities Jesus Christ had to tell the emissaries from John the Baptist the extent of His power; the level He had attained in spiritualism, which He made it clear, that it was beyond the level of John the Baptist, among others.
Jesus Christ could also have sat down these messengers from The Baptist (John) and informed them that yes, He was baptised by John, but he (John) could not have achieved what He has achieved and John the Baptist would have been so diminished by the Messiah’s words.
Rather, the miracles the messengers witnessed instantly did not require any words from Jesus Christ, but referencing that in line with the objective of His coming to the world – Sinners, to change and live their lives in tandem with God’s commandment (vs. 22 – to the poor, the gospel is preached).
It is instructive to know that telling people who we are does not necessarily mean we will be respected or honoured. But in most cases, it even undermines the importance God has attached to our person. Since no man can achieve anything, including miracles, without being sanctioning by God, only the beneficiaries of these should express as such in their testimonies and not for us to start publicising ourselves, as if we want to share the glory with God.
In most instances, God’s glory in our lives is beyond what we can express by words, but better acknowledged from testimonies of others and what they see us doing. This is the more reason why an autobiography by ministers of the gospel, which includes miracles that God used them to perform, may lead to self-glorification, unlike a Biography, which is done by others for us and in most cases, after we would have gone to the great beyond.
The truth is that God’s glory in the life of His chosen children is beyond words. When it is expressed by ministers of the Words themselves, it is no longer glory, but has become unedifying and challenges the sole authority of God, the result of which is eternal disgrace.
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To Be Continued