Billie Burke was a famous actress of the early 20th century. She played “Gilda the good witch” in the Wizard of Oz musical. The story is told that Ms Burke was once traveling on a cruise ship when she noticed a man at the next table suffering from a bad cold.
She asked, “Are you uncomfortable?” The man nodded in the affirmative. “Well,” she instructed, “I’ll tell you what to do.
Go back to your state-room. Take two aspirins. Drink Lots of Orange Juice. Cover yourself with all the blankets you can find. Just sweat it out. Then she paused and said confidently, “I know what I’m talking about, I’m Billie Burke from Hollywood.
The gentleman smiled and said, “Thank you.” Then added, “By the way, I’m Dr. Mayo from the Mayo clinic.”
Too often we listen to the wrong people. People who speak very authoritatively, but lack the credentials, training or experience to really know what they are talking about.
When it comes to spiritual questions, it is a serious matter. One that has eternal implications. Yet, how many look to celebrities? Or listen to popular politicians? Or embrace cultural trends? Or follow religious fads? The wisdom of our age is not a reliable source religiously.
The Bible says that God speaks to us today by His son Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:1). And Jesus affirmed that he has been given all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt 28:18).
Many today are like the Pharisees of old. Matthew tells about a time when Jesus “came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”
Our post-modern culture also confronts Jesus. Denies his authority. And rejects his teaching.
Media mogul, Ted Turner once questioned, “If you’re only going to have 10 rules, I don’t know if adultery should be one of them.” In the same way people question Jesus’ authority in their lives when His commands get in the way of their lifestyle. Opinions. Or priorities. People say, “I know Jesus says ____________,
“But we love each other.”
“But times have changed.”
“But I’ve got to have that promotion.”
“But it’s not popular today.”
“But you’re only young once.”
“But I think God wants me to be happy.”
“But others are doing things a lot worse.”
“But that’s not what my parents believed.”
“But I think love is more important.”
And Jesus says, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? (Lk. 6:46)
You see He either has all authority. Or he doesn’t have any. He’s either Lord of all your life. Or none of your life. He’s either the Son of God. Or an imposter and a fraud. As C. S. Lewis put it, Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic, or else Lord!
God says about Jesus, ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear him.”
Listen to Jesus. He is Lord.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman