He Shouldn’t Have Bothered?
By Pat Kilpatrick
In Acts 8:26-39 we find the story of Philip teaching an Ethiopian, a man of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians. The Ethiopian was reading from Isaiah Chapter 53, which foretells the suffering of Jesus Christ for our sins. The Ethiopian was not fully understanding of he was reading having no knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So Philip taught him Jesus. We know that the story ends with the Ethiopian being baptized into Jesus Christ and going on his way rejoicing. Imagine though, if after Philip had taught him about Jesus Christ and his great sacrifice to justify us, the Ethiopian had just said, “He shouldn’t have bothered”? Hard to imagine isn’t it? Yet, many do just that everyday, maybe not in so many words, but it is indicated in their actions and inaction. Many reject Jesus all together with no pretense of faith in him. Others that claim a faith in the Christ, but reject his teaching. What about us?
When we neglect the assembling of the church (Hebrews 10:24-25) where Jesus Christ meets with us (Matthew 18:20), we say, “He shouldn’t have bothered.”
When we neglect to pray, a privilege for us that Jesus died for (Galatians 4:3-7, Romans 8:14-17), we say, “He shouldn’t have bothered.”
When we do not study God’s word so that we can grow into teachers and be thoroughly furnished unto all good works (Ephesians 4:11-15, II Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17), we say, “He shouldn’t have bothered.”
When we are unmerciful (Luke 6:36), unforgiving (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13), and have malice in our hearts toward a brother (Ephesians 4:31), we say, “He shouldn’t have bothered.”
When we show no compassion on others when they are in need (Galatians 6:10, Hebrews 13:16, James 1:27, I John 3:17-18), we say, “He shouldn’t have bothered.”
When we refuse to give or do so grudgingly (II Corinthians 9:7), we say, “He shouldn’t have bothered.”
I don’t believe that any of us, looking back at the pain and shame that Jesus suffered for our sakes, would say, “He shouldn’t have bothered”, but actions speak louder than words.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
(Idea for lesson based on a recent Mac Lyon program)
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