MATTHEW 12:18-21: “Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel nor cry out, Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory; And in His name Gentiles will trust.” (NKJV)
OBSERVATION: Will the real Christian please stand up? When I was growing up Television was still very young. We did not have 200+ channels, and complete networks of cartoons. The stations would actually go off the air at the end of the broadcast day and all you would see was a symbol of the network on your screen. During this time a new TV format became very popular. It was the “Game Show”. This genre captivated audiences because it was just an every day Joe like them on the TV screen playing a game and trying to win some fabulous prize.
One such show that I always liked to watch was “To Tell The Truth”. In the show there were three contestants. Two would be given material and false answers to lead the game show participant off the trail. Only one would answer truthfully. The object of the show was for the game contestant to pick the one who was really telling the truth. What made it tricky is that the claim they were making was usually something that was not well known, and not well displayed or acted out in our every day life.
I think a good topic for today would be – “I am a Christian”! Each of the three contestants would make the claim and begin to answer questions regarding the characteristics of what this means and what this looks like. The reason I think this would be a good topic today is because in today’s culture it is both something that is not well known, and not well displayed or acted out in every day life. There are a lot of voices proclaiming “I’m a Christian!”, but it is not clear for those who don’t know Jesus Christ, and even for those who do, to identify the one who is “telling the truth”.
I wonder if that is the reason that so many did not recognize the Messiah when he came. They were use to religious leaders who strutted around sounding their own horn. They were use to religious leaders who were quick to condemn others and ostracize them from the fold. They were use to loud voices that proclaimed their messages in angry tones in order to gather followers around them. And then there was Jesus.
- JESUS came to declare the true justice and mercy of God.
- JESUS was not angry or quarrelsome.
- JESUS did not make a show in the streets to gather attentions and a following.
- JESUS had compassion on the broken and the bruised (spiritually and emotionally).
- JESUS did not condemn those who were captive to sin, but called them to repentance and life
- JESUS came to heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, sight to the blind, to set the oppressed free, to restore man to his original place and relationship with God the Father.
No wonder the average Jew of that day did not recognize Him as Messiah. They were listening to the words and examples of the “religious” who were void of the truth of God. As I look at my life I am compelled to ask – “What do others see when they look at me?” Does my life resemble that of the Pharisees and religious leaders of Jesus Day, or is it a growing and transformational example of Jesus Christ living in me and through me?
I am far from perfect. Yet, that cannot be used as an excuse to walk in a way that is not pleasing to the Lord, and that does not reflect His true character and life. None of us has arrived. However, is it evident that at least I am on the right road, going the right speed, and headed to the right destination?
Lord, this morning I want to be a “Real Christian”. I want to be cleansed of my sin, filled with the Holy Spirit, and empowered to become like Jesus. I want to walk as He walked. I want to love as He loved. I want to live the truth as He lived the truth. I want my life to boldly proclaim, by the way I live each day, that He is living in and through me. Jesus Christ in me is the only hope of glory, and the only evidence to a hurting world that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!
As I look in the mirror today – “Will the real Christian please stand up!”
In Jesus Name!