An article written by my father, the Rev. C. Thomas Paige, as it appeared in the Tri-State Defender on the date shown.
Continuing our general theme, “Jesus and Human Behavior,” we find ourselves this week dealing with Jesus and His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. As recorded in the 11th chapter of Mark, we find Jesus entering Jerusalem amidst the great hosannas and the palm waving to the masses.
Long this misinformed and overanxious mass had looked for a king who was going to set up an earthly kingdom and give some of them choice places. At the time, Jesus could have proclaimed Himself king and had the world at His feet. How many of us, had we been in the place of Jesus, would have used this as an opportune time to make hay for ourselves? Acting from the human element, we would have used this to advance our own selfish aims and goals.
Jesus had to look beyond and forward to the overall program of His mission. What terrible things men, acting on the human level, can do in an hour of so-called triumph!
A man throws a no-hit, no-run game and, in a few minutes, goes out and makes a fool of himself. Another man runs for a touchdown and so conducts himself that he is placed on the bench for the rest of the season. History has a peculiar way of dealing with us when we live, move, and act on the human level. But how tragic it is when men have no other motive than to use an hour of victory for the advancement of themselves!
CLEAN HOUSE OF GOD
It would have been tragic if this story had ended here but it keeps on and we see Jesus going into the temple. There, seeing men performing tasks different from its designed purpose, he speaks up and admonishes them to clean the house of God and make it the house that it should be. It was at this point that Jesus stirred the wrath of the higher ups in society and was the beginning of the end as far as many were concerned. In spite of the many successes, Jesus never lost sight of the fact that His mission here was to establish the kingdom of God in the hearts of men. Jesus fully realized that this was no time for Him to set Himself up as a king but rather to act on the level of the spiritual mission that He had come here to do.
How often it is that we forget our real mission and allow ourselves to be drawn into the tangents of life. How grateful we should be today that Jesus was not drawn off on the tangents of life but rather chose to remain on the main thoroughfare. The world is in the condition that we find it today because far too many people have allowed themselves to be drawn from the main highways during hours of supposed victory to dwell in the back streets and alleys.
This is in keeping with the human activities, but the man who keeps before himself the real mission of life is able to go on to achieve that.
We cannot afford to let today’s applauses make us forget the basic concerns of our mission. A man who plays baseball can’t let one home run in one game go to his head when there are many more games on the schedule that need someone to hit home runs. The man who plays football can’t let one touchdown go to his head to the extent that he rests on his laurels from then on. The preacher who preaches one good sermon and gets three or four converts can’t stop there when there are 52 Sundays in the year and many people to be converted. The doctor who miraculously cures one patient can’t let the fame and glory erase from his mind that there are millions of people who need his knowledge to cure them.
Like Jesus, we all must keep doing.
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