March 12, 2008
They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. Matthew 23:5
Anybody who knows cars knows the name, Ferrari. Not everybody wants a Ferrari, but everybody knows a car that carries the Ferrari name is hot, stylish, fast, and very, very expensive.
To own a Ferrari means you have arrived. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t entirely surprised when Reuters News Service ran a story telling how the police in Rome had broken up a gang that was selling fake Ferraris. Now, counterfeiting is nothing new in Italy. In Italy you can buy a fake Rolex watch and you can purchase a phony Gucci handbag, but a fake Ferrari is taking things to a whole different level.
According to the article, police confiscated twenty-one cars, with some selling for about twenty thousand euros or about thirty thousand U.S. dollars. And was there a market for a fake Ferrari? You bet. Of the twenty-one cars confiscated, fourteen of them had already been sold to people who wanted to look good.
Sort of like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, don’t you think? No, the Pharisees didn’t buy false Ferraris, but they did dress in a way designed to make others think they were important, pious, and very religious. Back then, Jesus warned His followers not to use those phonies as a role model. On the contrary, in Jesus’ family, the greatest person would be the one who showed His love to the Savior by bending down to serve others.
You know, when Jesus talked that way, He wasn’t just spouting words. Jesus never asked His followers to do something He had not done already. And Jesus, the Son of God had stooped down to serve. Look into Bethlehem’s manger and see the baby; stand before Calvary’s cross and see the Savior’s service of sacrifice. Observe. Jesus stepped down from His position in heaven to live, suffer, die, and rise so all who believe on Him might be saved.
Jesus stepped down so you and I might be brought up.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for having left the beauty and perfection of heaven to be born in a Bethlehem stable and die on a Jerusalem cross, You have my undying love. You suffered so I wouldn’t have to. Help me show the same caring compassion and commitment to everyone else I encounter today. In Your Name. Amen.
Erratum: The Daily Devotion for March 5th said, “According to the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, it means America is about to "lose its status as a majority Protestant nation", Christianity is "at 51 percent and slipping." DCE Tim Roggow of Immanuel Lutheran Church and School of Simpsonville, SC emailed me and caught my mistake. It should read, “Protestantism is at 51% and slipping.” I thank DCE Roggow and apologize to the Daily Devotion readers for my misleading information. Things are bad, but I don’t have to make them worse. In Christ, Pastor Ken Klaus
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries