05 Jan Are You Common?
By Gary Hendrix –
And the common people heard Him gladly.
— Mark 12:37b, NKJ
The word translated “common people” often refers to the ordinary people of Israel in contrast with the religious leaders, the scholars and such.
The thought is that the people who did not suppose themselves to be experts in religion, who recognized that their understanding of the Scriptures was meager and that they needed instruction…these people heard Christ eagerly. On the other hand, those who prided themselves in being well-read in the Old Testament and especially in the writings of the elders disdained the teaching of this carpenter from Nazareth. That occurred in the face of statements from Jesus that both answered their questions and expounded texts they did not understand. Still, the sophisticated refused to hear Him gladly. They objected to His right to teach without their approval. They objected that He had not been educated in their system, neither had He read their favorite authors.
Beloved, how do you think of yourself as you read and listen to the Word of God? Inwardly, do you see yourself as did the “common people” of Christ’s day—needy and eager to be taught? Or, do you see yourself as being somewhat above the ordinary Christian and beyond what the ordinary Christian needs? Have you so mastered the Bible that you look beyond the Scriptures for your spiritual food? Do you search for esoteric knowledge that sets you into a special category of Christians above the “common people”?
No one acquires spiritual learning or spiritual nourishment apart from the special blessing of Christ by the Spirit. All the reading and study possible to man will not profit the soul unless Christ Himself blesses it. And, Christ blesses humility. He blesses ordinary people who humbly sit before Him with open Bibles, confessing their sins and pleading for Him to feed their needy hearts.
As we commence a new year, let each of us mortify the pride that would cause us to see ourselves as anything other than common folk, great sinners even, who need the merciful gentle instruction of our Savior through the Bible. Christ loves to exalt the humble and to feed the hungry!