He is called “Your Honor,” yet he has no honor

by Joseph Franks

Jesus is surrounded by friends and foes; before him are disciples and pharisees. The Twelve Fellows, they desire the chief seats in the Kingdom of God. They will be seen arguing and posturing behind Jesus’ back. Some will even send their mother to rally support for their cause. The Pharisees, they covet the chief seats at banquet tables, in synagogues, at city gates, and in the Temple. However, they are far less surreptitious and coy regarding their earthly ambition. Yes, all around Jesus, men pant to be great, famous, feared, and powerful. They desire to be called “Your Honor,” even if they have no honor. They look like the authority figure put forth by Jesus in his Parable of the Praying Widow:

Luke 18:2-5     He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”

There are at least six ways in which he lacks honor:

  • He is irreverent; he has no fear of God.
  • He is indifferent; he has no respect for his fellow man.
  • He is antinomian; he has no respect for God’s moral or civil law.
  • He is apathetic and abusive; he has no respect for his position and power
  • He is arrogant; he sees his sin, comments on his sin, and repents not
  • He is idolatrous; he worships himself and only acts when it please him

In the following statement (vs. 6),  the Lord labels him the “unrighteous judge.” He is the antitype of the Heavenly Father. He stands in bold contrast Jesus Christ. However, sadly, he is so typical of many in authority around us today. And tragically, he is so typical of us when we walk in the flesh and not in accordance with Christ’s Holy Spirit.

Friends, consider the positions of leadership, authority, and service you have been granted by God. Some of you reading this devotional are husbands called to love and lead their wives. Others of you are fathers and mothers called to parent your children. I imagine some of you are elders and deacons called to shepherd the local flock of Christ; many more have been granted some post of leadership in your local church by your ordained leaders. Surely some of you my friends are employers and managers called to steward authority in private enterprises, some are administrators and teachers called to lead your student body. You might be an officer called to serve, protect, and rule in the community, a civil representatives called to govern your constituencies, or a judge called legislate in a courtroom. The list could go on and on, for there are many spheres in which authority is found.

Now, take a moment and ask yourselves the question, “Given my title, my power, and my position of honor, am I honorable?” Am I more like the unrighteous judge, or am I becoming more like the Righteous Judge? Today, am I:

  • Irreverent … or … Filled with passion to worship God
  • Indifferent … or … Filled with compassion for my neighbor
  • Antinomian … or … Interested in keeping God’s Law and man’s laws
  • Apathetic and abusive … or … Zealous and just
  • Arrogant … or … Repentant
  • Idolatrous … or Servant-hearted

Friends, let’s not be satisfied with being called “Your Honor.” Let’s also be honorable.