CAN YOU IMAGINE?
Can you imagine what names the Lord must give to us?
We, as Christians, each have our own personality, we have our character, our conscience, and it is slowly changed, we hope, to be more and more like that of Jesus. Yet, in our lifetime, that is a process.
When Jesus first called the disciples, there were two of them, that He gave a name, a descriptive title. Jesus called James, and his brother John, to be ‘sons of thunder’.
Mark 3:17 (KJV)
17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:
Was that an appropriate title for them? Well, Jesus knew what was in the hearts of men, and He saw through their facade, and knew that the inner person, still not changed enough by Jesus, would at times appear, and manifest itself.
One time, while with Jesus, and seeking to get people to come hear Jesus, James and John felt rejected by a Samaritan city. The Jewish people would not normally talk to Samaritans, except for doing business, but in friendly conversation, they were not to be befriended, according to Jewish tradition. So, to even go to this city, as directed by Jesus, we find that James and John still had some anger and malice toward the Samaritans.
Luke 9:51-56 (KJV)
51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55 But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
Jesus rebuked them, and said: Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
Do Christians today hold bias, jealousy, anger, malice, prejudice, etc and not even know, that these feelings are hindering our work for the Lord?
Can you imagine the rebukes the Lord is trying to get some in Christianity today to hear?
We are to hate sin, but not the sinner. There are some so called Christians today who speak hatred to the homosexual. They claim God wants them in hell fire, when actually, God wants to heal that reprobate mind, and have them become Christian. Yet, they stand at funerals, at parades, in front of places where homosexuals frequent, and hold signs of hatred.
Can you imagine what the Lord would like to say to these ‘so called Christ-like ones’? They are not being Christ-like, i.e. Christian, for they are spuing hatred, not love. They are building walls instead of preaching the good news of life changing salvation in Jesus. To put it mildly, the words of Jesus to them, would include Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
Some today preach a gospel of greed and carnal prosperity. Their message always includes another sending them money, to pay for the privilege of having Jesus reimburse them for the purchase of blessings. All blessings were paid for by Jesus on the cross. We need only to live for Him, and ask for our needs to be supplied. He will try to save our children, even if we don’t send $88 to some evangelist who promises that this amount will purchase the salvation of their loved ones. The Lord will never force someone to be saved, and He is not hard up for money that He became a retailer to get riches in selling blessings. Can you imagine what Jesus is saying to these who are not listening to His rebuke? Certainly, at the end of the harsh rebuke for this blasphemous blessing selling practice, the Lord is adding Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
Some claim to be perfect, to have achieved a sanctification that is beyond repute, and all others who are not as perfect need scolded. We are told that if we say we ‘have no sin, we lie, and the truth is not in us’. Yet some still claim sinlessness, denigrate any who ‘repent’ of their admitted failures, and try to get all others to admire their perfection. We have One Who is perfect, and His name is Jesus. He alone is to be glorified, and honored for His perfection. We have a ‘carnal person’ still within fighting for control, and that battle will go on until the ‘redemption of the body’. Romans 8 explains this well, and tells us we have ‘no condemnation’ only because of the mercy of Jesus, Who forgives our repented sins. The perfection that some claim is rebuked by the Lord, but, as with the others aforementioned, there are few ‘ears that hear’ this rebuke. At the end of the Lord’s rebuke to these ones, I am sure He adds Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
What is there in my life, in your life, that the Lord is rebuking?
John, one of the sons of thunder, later became known as the ‘apostle of love’. His epistles show a remarkable change, and that rebuke of the Lord was not meant to hurt him, but only to get the change started in John that he needed so desperately. Somewhere along the line, He heard the message of Jesus, his heart was slowly changed from ‘thunderous anger and vengeance’, to blessed love, agape love, as Jesus had.
What is the Lord speaking to us, in our own private times of prayer and Bible study? Is there a Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of at the end of His talking with us? Are we listening to His still small voice of rebuke, or do we ignore it, as we see many today do???
The words of Jesus: Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of need to be heard, and we need to seek the Lord on our knees to see where we stray from having the nature and traits of the One we claim to be ‘like’. If we are to call ourselves CHRISTIAN, which means ‘Christ-like’, we need to be like Him. Are we... ? Or are we ignorant of the difference between our attitudes and His, as were James and John?
Can you imagine what the Lord has to say to you, when the last words of such message is Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. ????
It is time to find out what manner of spirit we have, and to become, instead, more like Jesus.
Can you imagine what name or title the Lord is calling you ???
If not, why not ask Jesus? There are probably some still getting the title ‘sons of thunder’. What name or title does the Lord call you? Perhaps there is still time to change it, and become an ‘apostle of love’ as did John.