TITLE: A Real Disappointment
DATE: November 9, 2018
TEXT: – Romans 5: 18-19 - Therefore, as one trespass[f] led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness[g] leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. The person we look like outside is not always an accurate depiction of who we are on the inside.
Years ago, a small-town’s prosecuting attorney called up his first witness to give her testimony. This lady had lived in town all her life and he thought he would take advantage of that fact by establishing a cordial rapport. He began by asking, “Mrs. Jonas, you know me, don’t you?”
He was somewhat reassured when she smiled and replied, “Well, of course I know you. I’ve known you ever since you were a little shaver.” If the lady had stopped then, it would have been all right. But the lady didn’t stop there.
She continued, “Quite frankly you’ve been a big disappointment to me and just about everyone else in the village. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you play games with people and you talk about them when they’re not around. You’ve talked yourself into believing you’re an important personage… but you’re not. Since I’m on the witness stand I have to tell all the truth, and the truth is: I and just about everybody else I know think you’re not going to go very far at all.”
You see… the prosecutor had a different outside. But the story continues…
Wishing to shift the focus from himself, he pointed to the other table where the defense attorney was seated. He asked “Mrs. Jonas, “Do you know the Counsel for the Defense?” The lady said she did. Once again she continued: “I’ve known him since he was a baby. In fact I used to be his babysitter. Like you he’s been a real disappointment. He’s lazy, prejudiced and he drinks way too much. He never calls or visits his mother; it took him four tries before he passed the bar and his law practice is in a shambles. Yes, I know him.”
When Mrs. Jonas had finished, the judge called both counselors to stand before the bench. In a very quiet voice he whispered, “If either of you asks this lady if she knows me, I’ll declare you in contempt of court and give you a fine so big your grandchildren will still be paying it off.” The warning was given because the judge knew that while he may wear the robes of authority, inwardly he wasn’t so presentable. In the words of Mrs. Jonas the judge knew he was “a disappointment.”
Sort of like us. When we’re being honest most of us know we are disappointments to the Lord.
Inside each of us there are things which are so dark, so frightening, so sinful, evil, mean and nasty we will do almost anything to make sure nobody ever gets a clear glimpse of who we are. We diet and exercise to help our outsides look good, but no diet has been developed which can shape us up on the inside. We may work hard to live in the right neighborhoods, drive the right cars, dine at the right restaurants, send our children to the right schools and have the right people invite us to the right social events; but there is no amount of work which can make us right.
Which is precisely why we need a Savior. Through the sin of Adam and Eve we were marked for damnation, but by the life, suffering, death and resurrection of God’s Son, we are made righteous. There is nothing we could have done to bring about or assist in that change. We were and are dependent upon God’s great grace, a Divine attribute which is never a disappointment.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I rejoice that You have sent Your Son to do what I could not do and be what I could not be. His perfect dedication is the means by which my forgiveness and salvation have been won. May I remember that forever. In Jesus’ Name I ask it. Amen.