9 “As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. 10 And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 13 and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
I suppose it might have been that word in verse 13, we have written how important it is to endure in the faith. Jesus had warned that his ministry and those loyal to him, could find themselves having to choose between their family and their faith, their circle of friends and their faith. It is not that big a stretch to believe that betrayal could strike very close to the hearts of believers just as it did to the Savior. In Luke we find the story of Peter and the act of denying Jesus, just as the savior had said he would. (Luke 22: 54-62) There is of course the account of Judas Iscariot a disciple and one of the original Twelve Disciples of Jesus Christ. According to the gospels, Judas betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin in the Garden of Gethsemane by kissing him and addressing him as “Rabbi” revealing his identity to those who had come to arrest him.
Now about that chameleon…. Chameleons are a distinctive and highly specialized lizards. Their main claim to fame would be their ability to change color allowing them to blend in with their surroundings.That’s the one I’m interested in, this changing of colors to avoid detection when threatened, to blend in. I will pull a Pogo on you. We have been searching for that chameleon in the room and we found it. The chameleon is us! I certainly am not suggesting a fellow human is a lizard among us. I am using this particular species to point out that we too have a tendency to change our colors, blend in when threaten and the chameleon is a perfect example. Let’s all admit that we tend to attempt to blend in when we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation. Paul wrote:
12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12 New Revised Standard Version NRSV)
There is a little of the chameleon in all of us and we would do well to remember our Lord’s warning. Jesus had warned those loyal to him that they could find themselves having to choose between their family and their faith, their circle of friends and their faith. How often have you found yourself in a situation that was totally alien to your faith, demeaning to our God and put you at odds with God, family, friends and yes, even our workplace associates? How often have we allowed our faith to be marginalized so as not to be at odds with what has become socially acceptable? Our Christian faith should not be a PR campaign but rather a mission to save souls and increase the faith. I could drag this out by putting together a list of things we should do and not do. A list of what to avoid at all costs but all we need is to remember this. Micah 6:8,
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Don’t be a chameleon, do not change your colors or try to blend in. Stand out in the faith, be an example of God’s mercy, and grace and the gift of our salvation through Jesus Christ. ENDURE in his name.
Come back next week, there is always room in the pew.
Life is Good