Monday, May 05, 2014

The Way of Loyalty

Monday of the Third Week of Easter

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”  John 6:29

Lead me from the way of deceit; favor me with your law.  The way of loyalty I have chosen; I have kept your judgments.  Psalm 119:29-30

Jesus predicted that his followers would meet with the kind of persecution that Stephen endured.  There is the easy way and the hard way.  The hard way starts with belief.  But it does not end there.  Some of the steps that follow belief are obedience and humility.  No matter how amazed some people were at his teaching, Jesus never let it go to his head.  Even though he wished for his mission to pass by if possible, he willingly accepted it. 

There are two kinds of people in the New Testament.  There are people who enjoy listening to Jesus and John the Baptist.  Herod is counted among those. But Jesus is not delivering some after dinner keynote address which will be quickly forgotten. 

The other kinds of people are those who listen AND act.  Time after time, we are told to listen to Jesus and act accordingly.  During the mystery of the Transfiguration, we learn:  While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”  (Matthew 17:5)

At Cana, Mary did not just tell the wine steward to listen to Jesus.  She told them to do what Jesus instructed.  “His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” (John 2:5)

The hard way is the one with a heavy cross on your back.  The hard way is the least popular option.  The hard way has no cushions on the kneelers. The hard way was shown to us by John…by Jesus…and today by Stephen. 

Am I ready for the hard way of humility, obedience and action?  

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