Lesson from Fusion 2-4-2015

In 1995, a young man named Iqbal Masih received a gunshot wound to the head and died.

“Iqbal was a forced child labourer in Pakistan. He was able to escape and began campaigning against child labour and for the right for children to receive education. After escaping a second time, he joined [the] Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF) a movement dedicated to stopping child labour around the world. He helped over 3,000 children escape forced labour in Pakistan.”[1]

Here’s the catch, Iqbad was only 12 when he was murdered. Here, in the United States, we are so blessed that our young people fill their lives with entertainment or small hobbies that will not make a significant difference in the world. Not that entertainment and hobbies are bad or evil, but when we are content with living a life that has no significance outside ourselves, something is seriously wrong; especially when there is a God who has offered us true freedom and an abundant life in the scope of eternity.

After this, Jesus traveled in Galilee, since He did not want to travel in Judea because the Jews were trying to kill Him. The Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, so His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go to Judea so Your disciples can see Your works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he’s seeking public recognition. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” (For not even His brothers believed in Him.)

Jesus told them, “My time has not yet arrived, but your time is always at hand. The world cannot hate you, but it does hate Me because I testify about it — that its deeds are evil. Go up to the festival yourselves. I’m not going up to the festival yet, because My time has not yet fully come.” After He had said these things, He stayed in Galilee.

After His brothers had gone up to the festival, then He also went up, not openly but secretly.

Some Jews wanted Jesus dead

One thing that no reasonable person can deny is that Jesus of Nazareth made a difference. There are some who see that difference a good and there are some who see that difference as not so God. During Jesus’ time, there were those who followed Him and those who wanted to kill Him.

As it is recorded in John’s gospel, many in Judea were actually trying to kill Jesus. As a result, Jesus traveled in Galilee. He did not fight and quarrel unnecessarily with the Jews there. Instead, He simply chose to travel somewhere else. Within Christ’s actions, there was a great degree of wisdom, wisdom that I can model my own life after. Here are two realizations that I can apply to my own life.

  1. I do not have to fight against every opposition that comes my way. Sometimes it really is best to remain silent on certain matters or to “turn the other cheek”.
    1. Should I argue with everyone who disagrees with me?
    2. Should I return hate for hate?
    3. When others judge me, how should I react?
      • o Jesus Himself simply walked somewhere else.
    4. I can choose my fights wisely.
      1. Later Jesus goes in secret and teaches in temple and many people believe Him.[2] Here Jesus accomplishes something that He may not have if He would have gone to the feast with His brothers.
      2. There are fights worth picking and there are fights that are not. When a fight is worth waging, I can, as Christ did, consider the best course of action.

 

The time of Christ’s death

After saying that He would not go to the feast in public, He told His brothers that their time was always here while His time had not yet come. He was speaking about the time of death. He reminded His brothers of His purpose for living. It was not to be a public figure, as they accused, but instead to be a servant and a sacrifice for human kind, so that people may be saved. Christ knew that it was not the appointed time for Him to die.

Jesus has an advantage that we do not have. He is one with God the Father. He has all knowledge and knew at that time that it was not time for Him to die. We do not know when we will die. We do not know how long our life will be and we certainly do not know what will happen tomorrow or even later on today. For this reason it is important that we always do something worthwhile.

As a Christian, I believe that my purpose in life is to live to glorify and honor God as my king and Father. If for some reason I did not live through the night tonight I want to know that God would be pleased with my life: that I honored and glorified Him with my life. If God is real and He is the purpose for which we exist, then my life is wasted if I do not honor Him. It does not matter what I do, if I fail to honor God with my life then I have lived a life that is void of meaning. Since I don’t know what tomorrow holds, why would I wait until tomorrow to live a life that honors God? The sad reality is, so many people die before they ever do anything worthwhile. Let that not be the case for us!

 A purpose greater than popularity

            God’s messiah, Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, who is the savior of the world, did not want to be a public figure, but instead wanted to be a servant who revealed God to all of mankind. He taught the scriptures and told people of God’s kingdom. He loved all people and opposed the things that were not of God. What does this say about our lives and our ministries? Perhaps the person who works behind the scenes and isn’t recognized for his work is more like Christ than those who seek to be popular or be heard. Perhaps true, beneficial ministry relies much more on relationships than it does personalities. Perhaps my purpose is not to be heard, but to serve others and lead them to a God who loves them. Let’s not waste our lives. Let’s go out and serve others, making Christ known.

[1] <http://www.biographyonline.net/people/inspirational/young-people.html&gt;

[2] John 7:31

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