Weighted Down In The Deep
I know what it’s like to be trapped underwater, unable to get to the surface. When I was a college student counseling at Word of Life Island on Schroon Lake, we played a game with a greased watermelon. One team lined up at one end of the swimming area; the other at the opposite end. The athletic director threw the melon into the middle, and it was game on. Both teams rushed to get hold of the slippery prize. When someone did, the chaos turned into a mixture of rugby, wrestling, boxing, and football. The goal of the game was to carry or throw the watermelon past the line where your opponents had started. So with my team behind and around me I grabbed the prize and started for the goal line. Only one problem. Scores of the opposition grabbed my arms and jumped on my shoulders, trying to dislodge the melon, pushing me down. The weight of all those bodies made it impossible to surface. And when I ran out of air….
In this camp game I could let go and the throng would get off as they pursued the next victim carrying the melon. In the illustration Jesus used warning His disciples about the judgment against those who entice a young fellow believer into sin by false teaching, there was no release, no escape.
“And Jesus said to His disciples, ‘It is impossible for enticement to sin not to come, but woe to the one through whom it comes. It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble. Pay close attention to yourselves.’” - Luke 17:1-2
Jesus warns us as His followers that there will be those in our midst who entice us into sin. The word that is used for “entice” is used in the Old Testament for false prophets who cause the children of Israel to stumble into idolatry and immorality. The Apostle Paul will warn us in Luke’s second volume in Acts 20:29-30 that false teachers will arise from our own circle who like wolves will devour Jesus’ flock, those who have trusted Him. We shouldn’t be surprised when this happens. We should also recognize the terrible judgment that awaits these peddlers of unbiblical doctrine. Later in Luke’s Gospel Judas, one of Jesus’ most trusted disciples will demonstrate that he loves money more than he loves Jesus, and he will betray his Master. It’s better if this wolf were never born.
LORD, what an awesome responsibility to be a teacher in Your Family. Help me to keep centered in Your Word and by Your Spirit help me to accurately teach it to others. Help me to be terrified of ever becoming a stumbling block that causes Your children to fall into sin because of what I taught them. Help me to pay close attention to my walk with You and my teaching about You.
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