"Mosquitoes and Mountains"
June 1, 2013
(Jesus said) "One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much." Luke 16:10
Jesus wanted His listeners to know that little things make a difference.
That's true in religion as well as in construction. Did you know the first modern attempt to dig a canal across the Isthmus of Panama was made by a French company? It did a pretty good job. Dedicated men and special machinery tackled the mountains and the jungles.
Even so, the project had to be abandoned. Amazingly, it was mosquitoes, not the mountains, which caused the company to shut things down. Yellow fever carried by the mosquitoes killed thousands.
The project was picked up again when American doctors found ways of protecting people against mosquitoes. Although the project was still incredibly difficult and complicated, when the mosquitoes were taken care of, the mountains were conquered.
Now the point is this: there is a great difference between the size of mountains and mosquitoes, yet the small mosquitoes did more damage. More men perished from the bite of the mosquitoes than from danger in the mountains.
That was the point Jesus was making when He talked about being faithful or uncommitted.
He wanted His people to know they should strive for faithfulness in their day-to-day activities. In so doing they would be training their minds, their bodies, and their souls to be obedient to Him and their Holy Spirit-given faith. The individual who lives his life by being faithful in all these little things will find himself prepared for the great unknown challenges and catastrophes which may come.
On the other hand, if God's people look for an easy way out -- if they're trying to find shortcuts, if they work at avoiding commitment -- they will not only minimize their witness, they will also weaken their faith and find themselves unprepared to carry the crosses of life. Indeed, they might lack the courage to make any kind of commitment to the Christ.
St. Paul said it this way: "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified" (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
Commitment to the Christ, in small things and large, is what the Savior asks of us. It is a response we should be glad to make.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant me a stronger faith and dedication to You. May I, in large ways and small, show my appreciation for what Jesus has done to save me. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries