And taking the twelve, He (Jesus) said to them, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For He will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging Him, they will kill Him, and on the third day He will rise." Luke 18:31-33
Respect: that's a word and a concept that has fallen into disfavor.
Respect: much of what you see on the evening news begins with a lack of respect. There's the video footage of a mangled car where someone decided to disrespect the railroad crossing's flashing lights, ringing bells, and descending crossbuck barriers.
There's the story of the latest terrorist bombing, where some religious fanatic has decided he has a mandate to disrespect and destroy the lives of innocent men, women and children.
Is there a story about someone who died when he disrespected authorities who told him to evacuate his home before a forest fire, flood or hurricane?
Respect is in serious short reply.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was crippled by polio. No matter what you think of him as a leader, it must be conceded 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.
That's disrespect. The same kind of disrespect Jesus received when He walked among us.
When Jesus was among us, He suffered from a serious lack of respect. The Pharisees hated Him and His message of love. They spent their days trying to trick Him and their nights licking their wounds when they failed. The priests had no respect for Him who was God's wonderful plan of salvation. It was they who lead the charge that ended up with the Savior nailed to the cross.
Read through the Gospels and you will soon see a parade of people who had no respect for Jesus.
It is a parade which continues today.
It is a parade we do our best to interrupt. We do so to tell those who are there that God loves them enough to send His Son to rescue them. We want them to realize that disrespecting Jesus is an incredibly dangerous and damning thing to do. We want them to know forgiveness and eternity depends not only on respecting Jesus, but also believing on Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that we may respect our Savior and share His story of salvation with a disbelieving world. Bless our words and the sharing so that others may respect and believe on Your Son who gave His life so humanity might have forgiveness and life. In Jesus' Name we pray it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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