October 26, 2013
Finally he sent him to them, saying, "They will respect my son." But those tenants said to one another, "This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours." Mark 12:6-7
Have you noticed that for many people respect is a commodity which is in seriously short supply?
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was crippled by polio. No matter what you may think of him as a leader, it must be concluded that he waged a heroic fight against that disease. The media of his day respected that battle. Although Roosevelt served as president longer than any other man, and was unable to walk unaided during that entire time, there are only two known pictures of him in a wheelchair.
Today, let a leader fall, become sick, or stumble in a speech, and a disrespectful press will gleefully gloat and splash the story across its front pages. We demand our heroes be perfect, but society dances in delight when they show they're not.
Respect. Where did it go?
The policeman who desires nothing more than to protect and serve finds himself smeared and slandered. Husbands and wives, who once voluntarily declared their everlasting love, now speak to each other with words that would bring a blush to the cheek of a longshoreman.
Now I'm not the first to notice a decline in respect. Here's what one wise observer has said:
"... our youths love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority -- they show disrespect for their elders and love to chatter in places of exercise .... Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when their elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up food, and tyrannize teachers."
Are you thinking there's a guy who understands? You would be right. When Socrates spoke those words almost 2,500 years ago, he did understand. Lack of respect, you see, is nothing new.
Since that is the case, maybe we shouldn't be surprised to see our generation show a lack of respect toward the greatest of authorities: the Triune God.
Not only do they not respect Him for having created the world in which they live and fashioned them in their mother's womb, they don't respect Him for His love and having sent His Son into this world as the only sacrifice that could save them.
When Jesus walked among us, the Pharisees tried to trick Him; His church tried to trap Him, and His government gave permission for Him to be crucified.
Talk about lack of respect.
Jesus should have been outraged.
Instead of being furious and walking away, the Lord let His disciples know He was fully aware of what would happen to Him. In the parable from which our text comes, He says the people who should be most grateful to God are the ones who will show their disrespect and murder Me.
It is a sad thing -- this lack of respect of the world. It is so sad we who are saved must do all we can to counterbalance it with the way we lead our lives. This is why those of us who are washed in Jesus' blood must daily show our great respect for Him who has died to free us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, what a strange thing it is that the world, which doesn't believe in You, works so hard at disrespecting You. May their darkness make our reflected light shine all the brighter as we honor You. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries