“If anyone tries to flag you down, calling out, ‘Here’s the Messiah!’ or points, ‘There he is!’ don’t fall for it. Fake Messiahs and lying preachers are going to pop up everywhere. Their impressive credentials and dazzling performances will pull the wool over the eyes of even those who ought to know better”.
Mk 13:21, 22 EHP
Old-established, well-run Christian denominations have screening procedures to determine whether those who offer for the ministry can be entrusted with the leadership of congregations. Most have academic examinations, practical routines and systems of oversight to ensure that the gospel message and the denominations own standards are maintained. And still some doubtful customers manage to “con” their way through and hoodwink those overseers. How much more in those “one-man shows” where there are no such safeguards and each minister is a law unto himself.
The fact is that there is an enormous amount of ego in the work of the ministry. Given that fact it is little wonder that those with big egos should portray themselves as somebody important. The role of Messiah as depicted in the Old Testament was tailor-made for the big-heads who aspired to make a name for themselves. Few wanted to serve in humility and obedience. But Jesus had read the real meaning of the role and fulfilled it to his heavenly Father’s complete specifications.
We are still plagued with self-appointed Messiahs, pulpit stars, and those whose sole ambition is to shine. Beware of them. Measure them all by the pattern of Jesus Christ. Support those who truly serve and only point to Jesus. Remember that all servants of God are human beings with personality strengths and weaknesses. Some promote Jesus Christ whilst others try to take over in place of him!
Lord, make all your ministers humble servants of God.