Friday, March 14, 2014

Level ground (Luke 6:17)

Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a great throng of people from all Judeaand Judea and the costal region of Tyre and Sidon (Luke 6:17 NASB)

A level place. 

I'm not sure where I heard the phrase first, but "The ground is level at the foot of the cross" is a phrase that has meant so much to me. I don't know if it derives from this verse, but it is certainly similar. The phrase is used to mean that no one is more important than another when we come to Christ. 

When Jesus came down from the mountain with his newly appointment apostle messengers, their first introduction/opportunity for service was on a "level ground".  Not one of the new apostles could position themselves or be positioned higher than another. Peter, James, and John were no "higher" than Judas. None of them were "higher" than the crowd. 

As we look at those around us, both in and out of the church, we would do well to remember this level ground. How easy it is for those who have been polished a bit by years of faith in Christ to consider themselves "higher" in the faith than those new to the faith. We must remember that we serve on a level place that puts us no higher than the one who has just come to Jesus with all his rough edges still sharp and prickly. In the hierarchy of Christ, the first is last, the last is first, and all serve on level ground. 

What an amazing concept! Not only are we no higher than another, but no one is higher than we are.  What is even more amazing is that Jesus, God made flesh and dwelling among us, positioned Himself on level ground, too. Once again, He demonstrated the position of humility. It is one we would do well to emulate. 

Where do you see yourself? Do you consider yourself higher or lower than those around you? Sadly, seeing yourself a bit higher in the faith than some around you is a matter of pride, and particularly heinous to our Lord. How easy that sin is, and how quickly we must repent. How quickly I must repent. 

In matters of service, the ground is also level, as it was on that particular day for Jesus and His new apostles. If we love others as we love ourselves and treat them accordingly, we will have done exactly right. 

Today, pray that we would view our loved ones and those around us through the eyes of Christ and recognize that we are all on level ground before Him. One of the glorious things about level ground is that the path to Christ is shorter and easier than if a climb to a lofty height was required. Pray that our loved ones will make those few short steps to repentance and transformation.