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  • Sarah Raad

Example

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

After Rembrandt Christ Preaching - Unfinished (Richard Parkes Bonington)

I heard a lovely little analogy about an artist the other day…


There was an art gallery that was offering art students free admission. The students were required to bring in the free ticket that their teacher had provided to them and present it to the entry admissions clerk at the door of the gallery. One day, one of the students who was walking past the gallery, suddenly decided to enter but he had forgotten his ticket at home. He approached the clerk and explained what had happened, but the clerk refused to believe him and denied him entry to the gallery. The art student immediately pulled out his sketch pad and began to sketch a beautiful portrait of the clerk! Immediately, the clerk – embarrassed – allowed the student admittance to the gallery… After all, the man could certainly draw, and in doing so had proved himself a true artist…


And I have been thinking about that little anecdote, because it is a wonderful analogy of how I should live my faith!

“Jesus said to the Jews: ‘You sent to John (the Baptist), and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony which I receive is from man; but I say this that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has granted me to accomplish, these very works which I am doing, bear me witness that the Father has sent me.’” (John 5:31-47).

And I have been thinking about this witness and these works of Christ. You see, irrespective of whether people believe that Christ is God or simply a man, nobody could ever accuse Christ of failing to give witness to His mission. Nobody could ever accuse Christ of failing to be an EXAMPLE of His teachings…


After all, Christ told His disciples to be poor – and He made Himself the poorest of them all, dying naked, nailed to a Cross. He told His disciples to speak the Good News to all – and He spoke it even to the point of Death, through His words to His accusers and His words on the Cross. He told His disciples to forgive – and He used His dying breath on that Cross to forgive those who were persecuting and to excuse them, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34).


And Christ did these things because He wished us to set an example for us, so that we could give witness to Him through our own good works! Because Christ said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).


And now I wonder now, considering my Beloved, and the story of that artist – when I am standing at the gates of Heaven and the clerk asks me to prove that I am a daughter of God so that I can gain admittance – will I even know how to draw?


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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