About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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Not My Responsibility


Mark 16:20 reads:


"Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it."


I understand the probability that the last few verses in Mark's gospel were not written by Mark but inserted into the text by an editor at a later date.  Whatever the case, I do believe what we read in Mark 16:20 sets forth a Biblical principle that is demonstrated in the lives of believers throughout the New Testament.  The principle is this.  As Christians, we have our responsibilities in the process of implementing God's will and Jesus has His responsibilities.  As with the first disciples, we perform the manual work while Jesus performs the spiritual work, something we can never do, yet still try to do.  


As Christians, and as the church, if we attempt to do Jesus' job, we prohibit Him from effectively doing His job.  In other words, we just get in His way, and none of us like others getting in our way while we are doing something important. 


A fine-tuned music team and a well-spoken preacher pleading away at the pulpit, for example, can easily stir an emotional response that entices a person to an altar of prayer.  How often have I seen a pleading preacher not give up pleading until someone gives in and finds his way to the altar.  To whom, then, did the person at the altar respond?  Was his trip to the altar motivated by the preacher or by Jesus?  If it was motivated by the preacher, what could be the expected result?  Such excessive pleading steps beyond the preacher's job description and into Jesus' job description.    


When we aggressively defend and promote our Biblical beliefs that often end in arguments, we step beyond the border of our responsibilities.  We inhibit Jesus from effectively doing His job.  It's our job to do the manual act of speaking.  It's Jesus job to do the spiritual act of convincing.  We speak to the mind.  Jesus speaks to the heart, which in the end can change the mind.       


Mark 16:20 sets forth a Biblical principle.  I have my responsibility and Jesus has His responsibility as we collaboratively implement God's will.  I must do my job and give Jesus the needed time and space to do His job, which by the way, takes the stress off of me.  It puts the stress onto Jesus where it belongs.  He can certainly handle the stress better than me.  At that point I can relax and trust Jesus for the results of our combined effort, and isn't trusting Jesus for the results the meaning of Biblical faith? 


Jesus has His responsibilities to perform, when He wants and how He wants.  They are not my responsibility. 

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