In “The Case For The Real Jesus”, Lee Strobel interviews Daniel Wallace on textual criticism. For those who don’t know, this is how we recover what the original documents of the NT or any ancient document for that matter said. However, Wallace makes some remarks also about how the church seems to be lacking.
Wallace mentions that the church needs to start studying the Scriptures hard, which is something I’ve stated for awhile. The church has lost its intellectual edge that it used to have so strongly. The church in history preserved the great writings by both Christians and non-Christians and studied them. Do we even read them today?
However, he also mentioned the problem in that we have the view that Jesus is supposed to be the personal buddy of all of us. In doing so, we have too often forgotten that he is the sovereign Lord of the universe and while we are supposed to boldly approach the throne of grace, we must remember always that we are approaching a throne.
This might seem bizarre, but is it really? Consider if you were best friends with the President for instance. Does that mean you can call him up whenever you want and have him do whatever you’re wanting to do at that moment? Does that mean that when you’re with him and in the public eye that you can act the way you would in private?
Consider if you were going for a job interview and you really needed and wanted the job. What would you do? You’d dress in your finest clothes, make sure your hair was impeccable, and have all the green stuff removed from between your teeth. You’d have good posture at the meeting and answer as cordially as you could.
For my fellow bachelors, consider what it would be like if you were going out on a date with a lady that you really wanted to impress. You’d spend twice as long in the shower as you’d wash all the grime off of you even more than before, you’d get your best cologne, if you shaved, you’d make sure you were completely clean-shaven, you’d straighten out your car and probably wash it thoroughly, (Some of you might leave the windows open to wash yourself at the same time) and you’d get your best and neatest clothes out to wear. This is the girl after all!
Yet too often, we treat the Lord of the universe casually, and I know that I am quite guilty of this as well. I confess that this is an area I need to work on. When we treat him as casual, we lose out on who he is. When we realize he is the sovereign Lord of the universe, then we realize just that. We realize that he is in charge. He’s not just a friend we call. He’s the first one on our list as he is the one in charge.
I try to get this in with my prayer practice at church. At my old church, we’d stand for songs and then we’d keep standing for a time of prayer. I would sit in the back with my fellow youth and I’d stand for the songs, but when it came time to pray, I would sit down. Why? For me, this was a way of remembering who I was approaching. It was reminding myself that God is absolutely holy. I am not worthy without Christ to approach him. He is God and I am but a man.
Could it be we don’t pray at times because the stark reality of who we’re praying to hasn’t hit us? Last night I thought of how Moses even said to God “Now show me your glory.” When was the last time that I really wanted to see the glory of the Lord? Have I really thought about who he is?
I agree with Wallace. We need to remember who we’re approaching. We do have a friend in Jesus of course, but let us remember that he is more than a friend. He is our Lord.