What are you committed to, and how committed to it are you? These are two big questions of commitment, which we’ll explore a little, today.
There were a chicken and a pig visiting with one another in a farmyard one day. The chicken suggested they have breakfast, which sounded like a good idea to the pig (pigs being pigs, after all). The chicken said, “Well, let’s have ham and eggs.” The pig wasn’t enthusiastic about that option. “Come on, pig, I’ll bring some eggs and you bring some ham – we’ll both contribute.” The pig answered in measured tones, “I can see how you bringing eggs involves you in working out our commitment to breakfast, but for me to bring ham is kind of an all-in commitment that you really aren’t making.”
The question I have for you this morning, then, is this: where does your commitment lie, and akin to it, what is your commitment level?
There are some guys who come to Jesus and they know the answer to their question, but they ask him anyway. Perhaps their test is like the kind schoolchildren are given by their teachers – just to see if the one asked knows their stuff. Except these guys aren’t Jesus’ teachers, and Jesus isn’t a child. The answer is somewhat surprising. It was a question of legality, and Jesus says that there’s provision for the course of action under scrutiny (divorce) to be legal; BUT, He says, that wasn’t God’s first intention, not God’s best for humanity. Jesus’ answer is that divorce is legal under the legal code given in Moses’ day, but that God’s original intention (Jesus goes further back in time, before Moses, and quotes God’s words) was for marriage to last. I’m not so concerned about marriage and divorce, today, as I am with the motivation behind the question they asked Jesus, because I think it’s the kind of motivation we have with a lot of the questions we ask.
I share, perennially, the story of a conversation I had with a RCMP member when I lived in Unity. I approached him and his partner and asked (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) how fast I could drive down the highway before they’d pull me over and give me a ticket. I was asked what the speed limit was. “100,” I said. “Then go 100,” they answered. I pushed, “But if I went 102, you wouldn’t ticket me would you?” “Would you be speeding?” I appreciated that this RCMP member stuck to his guns. “I would be, but you wouldn’t ticket me for that, would you? What if I went 107?” “What’s the posted speed limit?” “100.” “So would you be speeding?” “But would you give me a ticket for it?” “Is that the point?” And of course, it isn’t the point.
The point is doing what is right. Not doing what we can get away with. So apply that to the question: what are you committed to, and what kind of commitment? Are you involved (like the chicken who lays an egg), or all-in (like the pig who brings the ham)? Are you a spectator (like the fan in the stands), or a participant (like the player)? Are you committed as long as it doesn’t cost you anything, you don’t have to go out of your way, or be inconvenienced at all? Jesus calls us to a deeper commitment. He calls us to live for Him, to live the holy and righteous life that He lived (and still lives) among us.
In the past, God spoke to His people through prophets – in Jesus, He speaks to us through the Son. Let us receive the deeper revelation God gives us, and live lives transformed by God’s indwelling presence: reconciled to Him and conformed to His holy image. Amen.