Monday, September 26, 2016

ID Number

NFL rosters turn over quickly! Churches' rosters probably should not. This is from September 20, 2012.

My three Gospels' classes on Tuesday took notes over the baptism of Jesus in preparation for Test # 3 which we took yesterday. We made the points that John the Baptist came preaching repentance and baptism for forgiveness of sins and that he did not want to baptize Jesus. We noted that Jesus told His cousin that it should be done to fulfill all righteousness. We observed that in His baptism, Jesus can identify with sinful humanity and that according to Romans 6:4, we identify with Jesus  when we are baptized. To illustrate the point, I asked how many of the students owned Houston Texans football jerseys; a good number did. Then, I asked whose names were on the backs of those jerseys. Here were the responses- Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, JJ Watt. If you are an NFL fan, you know these guys play the glory positions of quarterback-running back-wide receiver except for Watt who is rapidly making a name for himself as a pass deflecting machine. (I asked who was the starting center on the Texans offensive line. Not one youngster knew the correct answer, Chris Myers!) It's obvious. These students are fans and picked the jerseys of their favorite players who they identify with.

As I thought about our discussion after school, I pondered the thought about Jesus identifying with sinful humanity through His baptism. I struggle with the concept that this includes me because I know my weaknesses and I know Jesus, when tempted, never succumbed. Just how far would He have to stoop to be at my level? To carry out the football analogy, would He wear my lowly name on His jersey? The Lord says in Isaiah 49:16 that,
 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
That verse give me great comfort! Our God not only knows me, my name is ever before Him! I mentioned to my classes that famous athletes must be embarrassed to see the way some of the wearers of their jerseys behave. Well, that would not happen if Jesus wore my jersey! Instead, it might mirror the words of the old hymn, 
Jesus And Shall It Ever Be:
Ashamed of Jesus! That dear Friend
On whom my hopes of Heav’n depend!
No; when I blush, be this my shame,
That I no more revere His Name.
Most likely, I have a considerable amount of blushing to do.

Applicable quote of the day:
The difference between the old ballplayer and the new ballplayer is the jersey. The old ballplayer cared about the name on the front. The new ballplayer cares about the name on the back."

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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