Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?" Numbers 22:28
As I read through the Bible, there are miracles that surprise me. Jesus' turning water into wine at Cana is one of those surprises; Balaam's talking donkey is another.
I've always wondered how I would react if a donkey talked to me.
Most probably I would be more receptive to an article published recently in the Journal of Animal Ethics. That article suggested that I am not an "owner" of a cat or dog; I'm a "human caregiver" and they are "companion animals."
The article also suggested we should purge our language and our thinking of such words as "critters," "beasts" and "wild animals." Phrases like "drunk as a skunk" and "eat like a pig" also ought to be banished -- would be banished if the Journal has its way.
And if you're wondering just why does the Journal thinks it's important for us to make such changes, it would say: such language "is derogatory ... it belittles them and our relations with them."
You know, I wish people would be equally enthusiastic about defending Jesus and His Holy Name. From what I've heard on the street, in the academic community and on the silver screen, the uses of Jesus' Name are often quite "derogatory."
To rephrase the Journal's comment: "The disrespect shown to Jesus belittles Him and minimizes our relations with Him."
Showing a lack of respect toward the Savior is both sinful and dangerous. Acts chapter four reminds us: "There is salvation in no one else. For there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
Now if you agree we ought to avoid any misuse or abuse of Jesus' Name, and if you are wondering just how shall I treat the Savior whose life, death and resurrection has won salvation for me, you can be at peace. The great reformer, Martin Luther tells us. He is spot on when he says, "For all of which it is our duty to thank and praise, to serve and obey Him."
"This is most certainly true."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I live in a sinful world, which wishes to demean and deny the Savior, His Name, and His work. Grant that I show to others my respect for Him. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries