January 20 | Matthew 4:23-25
Jesus Christ, Superstar
by David Thompson
Did you ever notice that people grab on to "fads," and it can make for some stressful Christmas shopping? The same can be true about churches or more specifically about the leaders of those churches. As an eighteen-year-old, I found myself in the middle of the Jesus movement when thousands upon thousands of young people chose to follow Christ. However, the most successful churches were led by a person I will call a superstar. A person who was charismatic and could really rile up a crowd. Over the last several days there was a documentary about the megachurch called Hillsong. For those that don't know, they are most famous for their worship music. Many churches pay to use the Hillsong worship music and it is said that music along with merchandise sales and congregant giving brings in 100 million dollars a year. This church and its fellow churches have very charismatic leaders. However, the documentary disclosed the sinful doings of many in that leadership. It is said that "absolute power corrupts absolutely." At times, a powerful leader falls to some kind of sin and this hurts many people.
In today's passage, we find a very popular leader in Jesus Christ. He was powerful, healing the sick, casting out demons, and speaking powerfully. The difference between Jesus Christ and the leaders I referenced above was that Jesus was perfect in all He said and all He did. Human failings did not affect Him. This didn't mean that He didn't get into trouble with the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He did by speaking the truth and sharing the negativity of what these other leaders of the time were teaching and forcing others to follow.
Jesus was very influential with the Jews and the Gentiles of the time. They followed Him and were excited by all He did. Jesus taught the "Good News" about His kingdom that had come. He taught about how God cared for them and He showed it with His God-given actions. Christ healed the physically and spiritually sick. There was no sin or problem that Christ felt was too big or too small to deal with. He healed all who came to Him with their issues. Jesus' words were Good News, as they brought freedom, peace, hope and eternal life.
Jesus should be the only superstar any church needs.
Thank-you for your Son and for the Holy Spirit. When we start feeling self-important, remind us where our successes come from. Keep us firmly rooted in Christ and keep us from faltering.