It is interesting to read that the disciples who had daily contact with Jesus Christ for three and a half years still didn’t, at times, have the right focus. That is hard to understand but would we have done any better? It is easy to see our mistakes in hindsight, and we all have made our fair share of them.
In Luke 9:46-48, we read: “Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, and said to them, ‘Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.’”
Here Jesus showed them in the clearest possible way that humility and service were necessary, not being the top man at the table. Having been given this lesson, you might be forgiven for thinking that the lesson would have been learnt. However, we read about a later incident in Luke 22:24-27: “Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. And He said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called “benefactors.” But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.’”
Their focus had slipped again, and Jesus had to put them right. He did so with clarity and, hopefully, they got the point.
Their focus, and ours, should and must be on the soon coming Kingdom of God; not on personal position, power or authority. The way of this Satan-inspired world is one of self- aggrandizement, putting self before others in a multitude of ways. Satan, the master of deception, can also encourage us to lose focus in so many other respects by encouraging us to focus on minutiae. He is a master of distraction; he can lead us to becoming overly interested in our job, our hobbies and anything else that we may be interested in, so that they become a higher priority than the Way of Life that we have been called to. As Satan won’t be in the Kingdom of God, he wants us to fail, too!
Do you think that it can’t happen to you? Remember: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Let us avoid the obvious trap of letting down on prayer and Bible study, but also in less obvious areas where we can lose focus on our priorities in this life. It can be so easy to let down that we can do it without fully realising it, and, in so doing, let our adversary get the upper hand.
With the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread coming up, now is the time to review our situation. Using this time as a period of introspection and self-examination, we ought to make sure that we do indeed have the right focus!