When my father was forced to transfer to Cleveland, Ohio to keep his job, I was introduced to cocktail parties. If you want to move from the middle to upper class, I learned that these social events were a necessary evil. These house parties enabled my parents to make new friends. This group called New Clevelanders encouraged parents to bring their own college children to these functions as a way to network as families started over in a new town. I quickly realized that colleges, degrees and majors provided surface level discussions. If you wanted to fit in, going clubbing, drinking and partying were code names into this elite club. I went along with the crowd for a while until conviction made it clear that I was living a lie.
3 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you a question. You tell Me: 4 The baptism of John [the Baptist]—was it from heaven [that is, ordained by God] or from men?” – Luke 20:3-4
During the first century, Jesus began to debate religious scholars. Raised in elite and wealthy families, these men were schooled by the best and brightest minds. Meanwhile, Jesus who spent most of his life as a carpenter, void of any formal educational, drew much larger crowds. Thus, resentment manifested in the hearts of these men, jealous of Jesus’ popularity. This culminated in the passage above as Jesus uses John the Baptist to illustrate that authority can come from heaven, not just through earthly institutions. Certain aspects, knowledge and qualities can only be explained as ordained by God despite what earthly wisdom may suggest.
They discussed and debated it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are firmly convinced that John was a prophet,” Luke 20:5-6.
During a breakfast I had with a friend in December, he marveled at my ability to come up with thousands of ideas for my blogs. From an earthly point of view, my only credentials for writing involve teaching poetry at a boarding school. This tangible experience ignited a passion for writing. Nothing in my past pointed to a career in writing. My English grades, grammar and vocabulary were average at best. Yet, just as John the Baptist received a special anointing from God, the Lord has given me the gift of writing in the Spirit. The more in tune with God I become, the deeper my blogs tend to be. However, on occasion, I become unplugged, relying on earthly knowledge, struggling to come up with material for a week. These phases are natural, a by product of human nature. Nonetheless, while earthly credentials do lead to successful writers, I credit my heavenly father for Express Yourself 4Him.
by Jay Mankus