This past week the Catholic pope again made headlines. I do not know if the media is just that enamored with him or if he just happens to be saying all the right things to draw the attention of the people. Either way, since his election by the college of cardinals he was done much that defies years of tradition in the Catholic church. Even shortly after being chosen as pope he was found cleaning his room before checking out in the Vatican City. He has washed the feet of women, and has refused to live in the “pope’s” quarters, instead electing to stay in the guest quarters (while I imagine are very nice are no where near on the same level as the pope’s quarters.) And most recently he has challenged the priests of the Catholic churches across the world to ask themselves, “What would Jesus drive?” The pope himself drives a dated Ford Focus. This is hardly the top of the line car that many of his compatriots are driving. In fact, it is about as humble as many of the “laity” drive because they can’t afford much more.
As I contemplated the challenges he has made, and the title of the article, “What would Jesus drive” I really got to thinking. How much are we really wasting on fancy cars, the newest gadgets and the most of expensive clothes? I am really hard on shoes. In fact, most shoes rarely last me more than a year. Most shoes last about 6 months before they need replaced. I have worn all varieties of shoes, Sketchers, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, New Balance and a slew of knock off brands from Payless, K-mart, Pamida, and Walmart. I have paid from $20-$120 for a pair of shoes. In all of this, I learned which I feel are most comfortable and which ones last me the longest. And for me I do not purchase the most expensive shoe. It me the name is not important, but what works for me. Sadly, too many people will pass on the cheaper price just to buy the name brand. To this day it boggles my mind that someone will drop $60 on a pair of baby shoes. All four of my babies kicked the shoes off within minutes. And all four of my babies outgrew them within just a couple of months. A $5 pair of shoes from Walmart accomplished the same task, they get kicked off in minutes and are out grown in a couple of month. I say this not because I think we all should be buying the cheapest shoe or car or house or whatever. I am saying this because we need to be wiser with our money. Our Savior did not drive around in Cadillac. Our Savior did not even have a pillow for his head, let alone a whole 10 bedroom mansion. And he certainly was not walking around town in the nicest and most elegant robes he could find. You know, he even condemned such actions (Luke 20:46).
Our Savior spent his days concerned with the needs of the people. His day was not ruined because he saw someone with a nicer car. His days were not ruined because he dined at someone’s house and noticed they had a nicer home. His day was not ruined because his clothes, and the clothes of his family just weren’t as nice as the Pharisees and scribes went around town wearing. He wept tears because a good friend passed away (John 11). He longed to draw the Jews in Jerusalem close to himself, but they would not (Matt. 23:37). He felt compassion for those that followed him around in the wilderness (Matt. 15:32-39). He not only gave them spiritual food, but actually fed them. He gave them fish and bread. While his may not have been the banquet of a king, it satisfied their hunger. The people were filled. And there was plenty left over.
I don’t know what car Jesus would drive if he were alive today. However, if his humility were to be the same, I hardly expect him to be driving the nicest car money can buy. I doubt he would be wearing stately clothing. I doubt his home would be a multimillion dollar home. From what I can tell through my studies Jesus was in appearance a rather average looking guy. Nothing about his appearance stood out. (Which may very well be the reason why Judas identified him with a kiss). He didn’t have the finest hair. He wasn’t the best groomed. He didn’t have the straightest smile. He did not have perfectly conditioned hair and a stellar beard. He was average. What made Jesus stand out was his teaching. It was his miracles. It was his humble mindset. While Jesus was average when it came to this world’s ideals, he was elite when it came to spiritual matters.
So, what should this mean for you and I? Are we spending more money fulfilling our wants each week than we do on giving to the Lord and benevolence unto others? We cannot say we cannot afford to give more unto the Lord or unto others when we are dropping $1000 a month on luxury items. (while dropping a $20 in the collection plate each month). Cable TV, fancy cell phones, luxury cars, dining out, etc are all luxuries that we can live without.
Now, I am not saying that we cannot have luxuries or that it is wrong to eat out, or that having a good reliable vehicle is sinful. What I am saying is that one day you will have to stand before God and give an account for everything you have done. Do you think you can explain why you drive the most expensive car while a brother goes hungry? Do you think you can justify that the church could never have a preacher is because you “needed” to keep up to date with the latest fashions?
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What Would Jesus Drive?
Volume 4 Issue 31