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Mark 182 - The Age of "I"


At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.


Mark 12:2-5


When I was growing up, we were living in the space age. Everyone and everything linked themselves and their organizations to the race for space. We then transitioned to the computer age where it could fit inside a normal sized room.


Then it was the age of Aquarius. It was thought that an age of love, light, and humanity was just around the corner. A song from the Broadway musical, Hair, was recorded by the 5th Dimension[1] that celebrated this hope.


There have been other ages that we’ve been through. Most recently, it’s been the internet age. The electronic connection of every computer, database, cell phone, laptop in the world. And with the addition of about another 64 billion Internet-of-Things, IoT, devices[2], everything from your car to your coffee pot, to your dog’s collar, will be connected


But there’s another age that we are a part of today. And this age makes the age of the internet look positively small and insignificant.


We are in the age of the individual. This is where your personal feelings, beliefs, and view of life replaces everyone and everything else. We’re the masters of our own destiny. We’re the captain of our soul[3]. Everyone and everything must bow down to our individual wishes and will.


That’s what makes this parable of Jesus seem so unique. Because the word that sticks out is not “I” but “they.” It was not an individual that raised themselves up, but it was a they. They acted together. They beat up. They treated shamefully. They killed. They worked together, they acted in concert with one another.


This is just the opposite to how things work today. It’s all about the individual. But, when it comes to doing harm, when it comes to doing evil, the “I’s” come together and form a “they.” People will put aside their individual wants and desires when it comes to doing evil.


And it’s not just to do harm and evil, but there is a progression of greater and greater harm. They move from beating up the first guy, to hitting the second guy on the head and treating him shamefully. Then explodes into killing.


It reminds me of sled ridding as a kid. Once you pushed off the top of the hill and started sliding, there was no turning back. And so it was that way for these servants, once they started defending the vineyard that they did not own, they just got more and more aggressive and angrier.


I can’t speak for you, but there have been times in my life when I pushed myself off the top of an ice-crusted hill. I quickly picked up speed to the point I couldn’t stop. These weren’t literal ice-covered hills, but moral hills that I launched myself from. And once I started, it was downhill from then on.


Where do you find yourself? Are you maintaining the high ground? Are you steady and secure in your own self-sufficiency? Your own righteousness? Your own goodness? Or are you rocking back and forth, uncertain of your moral balance? Or perhaps you’ve already lost it and are sliding downhill with little-to-no control?


When I realized that I was no longer in control, when I was helpless to change, hopeless about the future, I came to realize something. I needed help. As good as help from friends is, and as good as help is from a counselor or group, I needed help from someone who was always going to be with me.


Being with a friend, counselor, or group is fine, but there comes a time when you leave. And then there are times when you don’t want to be bothered, so you don’t show up. I needed someone who could give me what I needed.


· Power to change me.

· Persistence to stay with me.

· Passion to love me


Someone introduced me to that someone. And that someone was Jesus. He is the only one who loved me enough to pay the awful, eternal payment for my sin debt. He stayed on the cross, and he stays with me.


I invite you to turn to Jesus, right where you are. Whatever you’ve done is not nearly enough to put Jesus off or push him aside. It’s time to move from the failed Age of “I” to the time of Jesus.

[1] https://youtu.be/PXARzGdhx_Q [2] www.techjury.net [3] Invictus by William Ernest Henley

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