Rebellion Against God; December 29, 2019

Mark 12:7-8 “But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.”

That Jesus told this parable is an illustration of how stupidly evil mankind can be. It says in verse 12 that the targets of this parable knew He spoke it against them, but it didn’t deter them from carrying out their plan. There is incredible stupidity here. These men were setting themselves up against God (Ant, meet steamroller) and yet somehow thought they could win, and not only win, but take the spoils, as it were. We forget that our every breath, our very existence, is by the grace of God. Physicists literally can’t explain why the universe exists as it does, why atoms, or even subatomic particles, hold together. Paul had a flash of revelation: “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17) Christ is the “cosmic glue” the physicists can postulate but can’t prove exists, except circumstantially. The Jewish leaders of Jesus day didn’t realize that God could cause them to cease to exist just as easily as He could keep them around. However, we are hardly any better. We entertain all sorts of absurd ideas of what we can “get away with” when it comes to God, not grasping that He is infinite and omnipotent and we aren’t, period. The only logical, reasonable response is to submit ourselves to our Creator and inquire what He desires of us. Thankfully, He has given us the Bible as a remarkably complete guide, and on top of that He gives us His Holy Spirit to live in us so that we can have continuous fellowship with Him, if we will accept it.

I’ve been all over the place on this issue, struggling with hubris that tried to usurp the place of God in my own heart, but also receiving revelation that God’s smart and I’m not, and walking in growing fellowship with my Lord over the years. I still need reminders of my own frailty – like the cold I’m dealing with right now. However, I have tasted the amazing grace of my Lord enough that any hesitation in obeying Him is absurd. I see people all around me who are in various stages of rebellion against God, and I know full well that there, but for His grace, go I. In seeking to open people’s eyes and hearts I am not to paint God as a “boogyman” but I am also to remind them that He is indeed their Creator, and their existence depends on Him. That He would have chosen the path He did, sending His Son to take the penalty for our rebellion, is the most incredible miracle of all, and is indeed the best Good News that has ever been given to mankind.

Father, thank You indeed for Your amazing grace. I didn’t follow the path John Newton did before he wrote those lyrics, but I have no more claim to be Your favored child than he did. Help me express Your love and grace more and more effectively, so that more and more people may repent of their rebellion and believe, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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