Scripture

Realizing I’m Not the Main Character

I don’t see it much in movies anymore, but whenever there was a chase scene that usually began on foot, eventually one of the cops would stop a motorist and demand to use their car. Some sort of law, perhaps eminent domain, permitted them to simply take their vehicle for police use. Of course, there was never any time for forms and signatures and “just compensation,” and since the drivers would be listed toward the bottom of the credits (if at all), we’d never know what happened to them. That I even think about the drivers exposes a slight neurosis.

I came across a similar scene in the book of Mark.

The two disciples left and found the colt standing in the street, tied outside the front door. As they were untying it, some bystanders demanded, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it, and he sat on it. —Mark 11:4-7 NLT

So, I wonder who the owner of the colt was. Did he know who Jesus was? Actually, the owner isn’t even mentioned. A couple of bystanders question the disciples and also give permission. Who were they? And what did the disciples tell them?

Well, that much we know. Jesus told them to say, “The Lord needs it and will return it soon” (verse 3). That’s it. No further explanation.

Who is the Lord anyway? Notice Jesus didn’t say the Teacher (or Rabbi), which is how people often referred to him. He also didn’t say the Son of Man, an expression Jesus used to describe himself.

I realize that I seldom refer to God as the Lord. I know, a lot of Christians when speaking about God say the Lord, but I’ve always been uncomfortable with it. Maybe it’s because it sounds churchy. To identify with my objection, you have to say it with a strong R, as in the LoRRRRRd, with a strong slur from the L to the ord. But perhaps there’s a deeper reason why I don’t say the Lord.

What is a lord anyway? It’s not a word we use much in our culture. It sounds all British and formal. Common throughout the New Testament, this Greek word is simply kurios, which (if like me, you aren’t fond of lord) means master.

Maybe I don’t like saying the Lord because it’s a reminder of how God is Master and I am servant. Honestly, I prefer to be served. I even expect God to serve me. How much of my prayers is worship and adoration versus requests? Now, they’re honorable requests. It’s not like I’m trying to rub a lamp to get God to be my genie. But in my prayers am I exemplifying one who submits or one who demands?

In this scene Jesus was allowed to just take the colt. Do I surrender to God’s … the Master’s right of eminent domain? Do I allow him to infringe on what’s “mine.” Do I give him free use of all I have: my money, abilities, and time?

I play but a small role, a somewhat nameless one. You could call me Driver #564710394857263. Long after my scene (as with the saints who’ve gone before), God will continue to be the focus, and I’ll be checking out the food table off camera. I need to remember that God is the main character. He is Master and I am servant.

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