Monday, April 19, 2010

Wisdom that Waits

In Matthew 28, Jesus famously declares that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. This answers the temptation in Matthew 4 where Jesus was offered all the kingdoms of the world and their glory if he would only fall down and worship the devil. Jesus refused the devil’s offer and responded by insisting in the words of Scripture that we are only to worship the Lord and serve Him alone. Jesus not only said this, He did this. And because He did this, He became the heir of all things. As has been pointed out many times, Jesus exemplifies for us patience like no other. When Jesus tells His disciples that the way to greatness is through becoming servants, that is not a backhanded way of dismissing the desire to be great. Jesus wants to be great, and He wants His people to be great. But He insists on true greatness. And so He refuses the devil’s offer, waiting for it all to be given. We need to grow up into this kind of wisdom, this kind of patience. Whether its gifts we want given or situations we want to change: Whether children, whether a spouse, whether a job, whether the salvation of a neighbor or a loved one, whether political turmoil, whether sickness, whether wars, whatever. There are any number of ways to grasp after good and noble things before they have been given, any number of ways to be fearful or frustrated when circumstances are difficult or painful. But authority comes to those who serve; true glory comes to those who die. But notice how the authority of Jesus works. The authority and glory and nobility of Jesus is shared with us now. The disciples themselves were coming off a week of epic fails, a week of denials, hiding, and fleeing from their Master. And Jesus is commissioning them not because they are great and noble, but because He has been given all authority and glory. Authority and glory gives and shares and bestows, and Jesus sends us in our weakness, in our fumbling and stumbling ways. The Lordship of Jesus is our authorization to go, to work, to love, to live, to be the bearers of the gospel, evangelists in every sense of the word in every area of our lives. And so we are commanded to go, go with His glory, the glory of His resurrection; go in His authority, in His name, and wait on Him. Wait for Him to give all good things, wait for Him to subdue our enemies with His grace, wait for Him to raise us up to glory.

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