Adair Church of Christ
Ryan W. Kepke
Among Jesus’ greatest causes of distress must have been those who failed Him. These included unbelievers as well as various disciples who abandoned, denied, or betrayed Him.
History proves that “human nature” is one of the great constants of our existence. Thus men continue to fail the Son of God for the same reasons they did when He lived among them, including the following:
Elitism. He was not the king the Jews expected from their prophets, and could anyone from Nazareth amount to anything (John 1:46)? Intellectual elitists still reject Him and sneer at the poor dupes who believe in Him and His Word. Worldly “wisdom” blinds many (1 Cor. 1:26–28). Hosts even of “disciples” reject His simple plan of salvation and church.
Selfishness. The rich fool (Luke 12:13–27), the nine ungrateful lepers (Luke 17:17), and the disciples who could not bear Jesus’ “hard teachings” (John 6:66) exemplify the utter selfishness of some who failed Jesus. Those who take the Lord’s day for their own rest and/or recreation, those who never think of others, and those who never pause to thank God for His enumerable blessings all likewise fail Him. Jesus requires His disciples to “deny self” (Luke 9:23).
Covetousness. The rich young ruler, who loved His riches more than He loved the Lord and His Word (Mat. 19:22), and Judas, who delivered the Savior to His enemies for $15.00 (26:15), demonstrate this trait that severed them from Him. Those today who live only for money and what it will buy and who heap up riches only for the pursuit of their own pleasures and earthly pursuits grossly fail Jesus (and themselves). Gaining the world in exchange for one’s soul is a sorry swap (Luke 9:25).
Doubt and fear. His fleshly brothers did not believe in Him (Mat. 13:57), numerous “believers” feared to say so publicly because of fear (John 7:13; 9:22; 19:38), and for fear, even Peter denied Him three times (Mark 14:66–72). (12:30).
We either serve Jesus or we fail Him. No “in between” exists.