April 12, 2011
(Jesus said) ... "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day." Luke 9:22b
The subject for the following devotion was suggested to me by Rose Seifert, administrative assistant to The Lutheran Hour Speaker.
The story is easily told: this last St. Patrick's Day a man walked into a Boston Starbucks. Three times he shouted, "I'm rich. I'm rich. I'm rich."
Then the man threw about 100 one-dollar bills into the air.
The patrons turned and looked at each other, but nobody scrambled for the cash. Finally, and at long last, an employee of the establishment picked up the dollars and sent them to relief efforts in Japan.
Since reading that story I wondered what stopped them from reaching for the cash? A fair number of reasons came to mind:
1. They thought they were on some hidden-camera show.
2. They knew the money wasn't theirs, so they weren't going to pick it up.
3. It was a scientific experiment on human nature.
4. They thought it was an early April Fool's Day joke.
5. Why pick it up if you're not going to get to keep it?
This got me to thinking. There were two different groups of people in Starbucks that day. There was one man who believed he was rich, and a number of folks who could have been richer. This is pretty much the way it is in this world. There are those who believe in the Savior who gave His life for them. They're rich. And there are those who just don't see how rich they could be.
Looking at them, I suppose they think they have good reasons for not believing in Jesus. Maybe ...
1. they think that while Jesus is for some folks, He isn't for them;
2. they have already concluded that Jesus and His sacrifice is little more than an ancient joke;
3. they want to take care of themselves and don't need a handout.
No matter how you look at it, these folks are going to be poorer for having rejected Jesus. As for me, I'd like to think I'm like that rich fellow. He is blessed and he knows it. Not only does he know it, he wants to share it.
That's who we Christians are all right -- people whom Jesus has made rich spiritually, people who want to share the riches of the Redeemer with others.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks You have made me rich. Now I don't know how others will react to the salvation You give, but help me to share the riches of the faith with them anyway. This I ask in Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries