1998-05-02 - The Easy Way Out
Acts 2:13 But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine." (NAS)
There were two groups here. The mockers that are presented here and the others. The others were the ones who were hearing these uneducated Jews speaking in various languages and dialects from around the world. The ones who where amazed, were amazed because these men of insufficient education were speaking fluently the praises of Almighty God in the native tongue of the hearer.
At first glance it seems to be unthinkable that two groups of people could hear the same thing and react so differently. While it is not unthinkable for two men to see a tree struck by lightening recount two slightly differing accounts, these two groups range in what they saw from powerful to pathetic. The foreigners hearing God praised, had every reason to be astonished. The recognized what they were witness to as beyond the natural realm. They saw the event for the miracle it was. Then there were the second group who simply mocked what they saw as drunken behavior without any regard for the facts.
Why the disparity? Because it is easy to mock something that does not fit our criteria, something we simply find annoying or something we don't understand. Rather than admit that we either have to modify our understanding of the thing we are evaluating, we simply bash it. The mockers took the easy way out. These men are drunk! They refused to regard the fact that others around them plainly understood what was being said. All they saw were a group of fishermen making a ruckus that they didn't understand. If they realized that the speakers where being understood, they missed the fact that these men could not have had the education to do what they were obviously doing. They missed a miracle before their very eyes.
Next time you are prepared to mock at something, stop and double check. Is this really what I have seen it to be, or is there more? Is this simply something to bug me, or is God pushing me out of my comfort zone to show me something? God has given most of us a pretty good mind. It is a shame we fail to exercise it as often as we do. To quote the motto of the NAACP, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."
Jesus never promised us smooth sailing. In fact He promised that the road we would follow would be rough and narrow. The path would not be well worn since so few would have gone before us. In this day and age of quick retorts and sharp tongues, I hope we can be known as thinkers and thoughtful. When you hear the term "born-again" from the media, it is with often used on context with emotionalism and irrational thought and behavior. Sadly, people naming the name of Jesus Christ have provided them with plenty of material. One of Calvary Chapel's tenets of worship is that it should be intelligent. Because we represent Jesus, Who is an offense to the world we may never be popular. But, if we can probe the minds of the world with simple, factual, thought-provoking questions that direct them toward Jesus Christ and His salvation, the tide can be turned in the hearts of the people if not the media.
It is surely not the easy way out, but that is not what we were promised either. Hop off the beaten path of the mocker and think. What you find may astonish you.