... Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:21b-23
Have you ever been wrong? I mean really wrong?
The year was 1870, and a bishop from the Church of the United Brethren in Christ made a visit to the home of a small college president. During the conversation, the educator made the bold statement: "In 50 years I believe it may be possible for men to soar through the air like birds!"
The bishop was visibly shocked.
No longer was the conversation entirely affable. With a stern tone, the bishop said, "Flight is strictly reserved for the angels." Then he added, "And I beg you not to repeat your suggestion, lest you be guilty of blasphemy!"
I wonder if that bishop, Bishop Milton Wright, ever confessed he had been wrong when his sons, Orville and Wilbur, made their flight at Kitty Hawk.
As I think back on my three-score and seven years, I'm confronted by a multitude of moments when I was really wrong. There was the time I asked a lady when her baby was due. She informed me she wasn't pregnant. There was the time a young couple asked me to do their wedding. After running them through a battery of personality and compatibility tests, I knew these kids didn't have a chance. That was over 40 years ago, and they're still the ideal couple.
I could add more examples, but space (and embarrassment) do not allow.
Have you ever been wrong? Don't be shy? You can fess up. Why not? Being wrong is part of the human condition. Adam and Eve were the first to find out about wrongness when they conversed with Satan, thought they could be as good as God, and ate from the forbidden fruit.
From that day, until now, every person who has ever lived has done things that were wrong.
Abraham was wrong when he thought God couldn't provide a son. Jacob was wrong when he showed preference to some of his children. Moses was wrong in thinking he could do a miracle better than God. David was wrong when he allowed his eyes to wander toward another man's wife. The disciples were wrong when they doubted and tried to stop others from coming to Jesus.
Search the Scripture and you will find a host of folks saying and doing things which were deceitful, dishonorable, disgraceful, dreadful and despicable.
Wrongdoers are everywhere, which is God's way of letting us know that all of us -- patriarchs, prophets and apostles -- all of us need the Savior.
Yes, we need the Savior -- the Savior whose life was perfect. His deeds and His words, His thoughts and His heart were perfect. His love for sinners was perfect, and His desire to do as His Father had asked was perfect too. And because Jesus was perfectly perfect, all of us who have been brought to faith are beneficiaries of that perfection, which forgives and saves.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. Grant that I, even with my imperfect mind and heart, may always rely on the Savior, whose life was the perfect sacrifice to redeem imperfect sinners. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries