March 10: Jesus Christ (Meant to Be) the Superstar
Numbers 10:1–36; John 17:1–26; Psalm 10:1–18
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, is certainly incorrect (and rather heretical) in its portrayal of history, but it got one thing right: Jesus is meant to be the celebrity. He—no one else—is the Savior, the Christ, the Lord.
And that’s why the celebrity pastor movement is quite frightening. I don’t say this as a cynic, and it’s not that I’m primarily concerned with how these teachers are marketed (although that, too, can be scary at times); I’m worried about the way they’re received.
Certainly there are people who can be trusted more than others, and popularity is by no means a measurement of trustworthiness. But automatically agreeing with everything a teacher says puts the disciple in a bad position with the God they worship. It also puts the teacher in a position similar to an idol. Teachers who truly follow Christ would never desire such glory for themselves.
In the Gospel of John, we see Jesus glorified by the Father. Jesus was obedient to the Father, even to death, which is why He alone is worthy of our worship. “I have glorified you on earth by completing the work that you have given me to do. And now, Father, you glorify me at your side with the glory that I had at your side before the world existed” (John 17:4–5).
True teachers of the gospel want commitment—not to themselves, but to Christ and His cause. Jesus prayed: “Righteous Father, although the world does not know you, yet I have known you, and these men have come to know that you sent me. And I made known to them your name, and will make it known, in order that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I may be in them” (John 17:26).
In what parts of your life is God asking you to make a statement similar to Paul’s? What teachers are you adoring too much?
JOHN D. BARRY
- And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver: of an whole piece shalt thou make them, that thou mayest use them for the assembling of the Congregation, and for the departure of the camp. And when they shall blow with them, all the Congregation shall assemble to thee, before the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. But if they blow with one, then the Princes, or heads over the thousands of Israel shall come unto thee. But if ye blow an alarm, then the camp of them that pitch on the East part, shall go forward. If ye blow an alarm the second time, then the host of them that lie on the South side, shall march: for they shall blow an alarm when they remove. But in the assembling the Congregation, ye shall blow without an alarm. And the sons of Aaron the Priest shall blow the trumpets, and ye shall have them as a law forever in your generations. And when ye go to war in your land against the enemy that vexeth you, ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets, and ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and shall be saved from your enemies. Also in the day of your gladness, and in your feast days, and in the beginning of your burnt sacrifices, and over your peace offerings, that they may be a remembrance for you before your God: I am the Lord your God. And iin the second year, in the second month, and in the twentieth day of the month, the cloud was taken up from the Tabernacle of the Testimony. And the children of Israel departed on thier journeys out of the desert of Sinai, and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran. So they first took their journey at the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses. In the first place when the standard of the host of the children of Judah according to their armies: and Nahshon the son of Amminadab was over his band. And over the band of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethanel the son of Zuar. And over the band of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon. When the Tabernacle was taken down, then the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari went forward bearing the Tabernacle. After, departed the standard of the host of Reuben, according to their armies, and over his band was Elizur the son of Shedeur. And over the band of the tribe of the children of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. And over the band of the tribe of the children of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel. The Kohathites also went forward and bare the Sanctuary, and the former did set up the Tabernacle against they came. Then the standard of the host of the children of Ephraim went forward according to their armies, and over his band was Elishama the son of Ammihud. And over the band of the tribe of the sons of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. And over the band of the tribe of the sons of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni. Last, the standard of the host of the children of Dan marched, gathering all the hosts according to their armies: and over his band was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. And over the band of the tribe of the children of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ocran. And over the band of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan. These were the removings of the children of Israel according to their armies, when they marched. After, Moses said unto Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, the father-in-law of Moses, We go into the place, of which the Lord said, I will give it to you. Come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the Lord hath promised good unto Israel. And he answered him, I will not go: but I will depart to mine own country, and to my kindred. Then he said, I pray thee, leave us not: for thou knowest our camping places in the wilderness: therefore thou mayest be our guide. And if thou go with us, what goodness the Lord shall show unto us, the same will we show unto thee. So they departed from the mount of the Lord, three days journey: and the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord went before them in the three days’ journey, to search out a resting place for them. And the cloud of the Lord was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp. And when the Ark went forward, Moses said, Rise up Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered, and let them that hate thee, flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O Lord, to the many thousands of Israel. (Numbers 10:1–36)
- These things spake Jesus, and lift up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father that hour is come: glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee, As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to all them that thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they know thee to be the only very God, and whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now glorify me, thou Father, with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have declared thy Name unto the men which thou gavest me, and they have kept my word. Now they know that all things whatsoever thou hast given me, are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and have believed that thou hast sent me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me: for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them. And now am I no longger in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy Name, even them whom thou hast given me, that they may be one as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy Name: those that thou gavest me, have I kept, and none of them is lost, but the child of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I unto thee, and these things speak I in the world, that they might have my joy fulfiled in themselves. I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, so have I sent them into the world. And for their sakes sanctify I myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth. I pray not for these alone, but for them also which shall believe in me, through their word. That they all may be one, as thou, O Father, art in me, and I in thee: even that they may be also be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory that thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may be one, as we are one, I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast loved me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they which thou hast given me, be with me even where I am, that they may behold that my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovest me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world also hath not known thee, but I have known thee, and these have known, that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy Name and I will declare it, that the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:1–26)
- Why standest thou far off, O Lord, and hidest thee in due time, even in affliction? The wicked with pride doth persecute the poor; let them be taken in the crafts that they have imagined. For the wicked hath made boast of his own heart’s desire, and the covetous blesseth himself, he contemneth the Lord. The wicked is so proud, that he seeketh not for God: he thinketh always, There is no God. His ways always prosper: thy judgments are high above his sight; therefore defieth he all his enemies. He saith in his heart, I shall never be moved, nor be in danger. His mouth is full of cursing, and deceit, and fraud; under his tongue is mischief and iniquity. He lieth in wait secretly, even as a lion in his den; he lieth in wait to spoil the poor; he doth spoil the poor, when he draweth him into his net. He croucheth and boweth; therefore heaps of the poor do fall by his might. He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten, he hideth away his face, and will never see. Arise, O Lord God, lift up thine hand; forget not the poor. Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he saith in his heart, Thou wilt not regard. Yet thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and wrong: that thou mayest take it into thine hands; the poor committeth himself unto thee; for thou art the helper of the fatherless. Break thou the arm of the wicked and malicious; search his wickedness, and thou shalt find none. The Lord is King forever and ever; the heathen are destroyed forth of his land. Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the poor; thou preparest their heart; thou bendest thine ear to them (Psalm 10:1–18)