Read: Luke 4
Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about him spread quickly through the whole region. He taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. (Luke 4:14-15)
People want to be famous these days, but mostly for the wrong reasons. Celebrity has ascended the throne as the latest false god of our culture, and her worshipers would do just about anything for their fifteen minutes in her glow—sacrificing their dignity, risking life, limb and reputation, even selling their own soul.
If you think I am overstating my case, just watch any one of the fifty or so reality shows to choose from on any given night now and what you will see is a whole bunch of folks vying for fame—for doing absolutely nothing fame-worthy. If that doesn’t do the trick, turn the TV on to a talk show or listen to the callers on talk radio offering their mindless drivel, hoping, I suspect, to get their brief spot in the spotlight. Or just watch the evening news as a reporter brings an on-location piece, and as the cameraman pans the scene you’ll witness at least a half-dozen goofballs pushing their mugs into the camera. Feeding the cravings of these fame-addicts, unfortunately, is a mindless media all too happy to oblige, treating these folks as if what they are doing or what they have to say will actually add something of value to our world.
Now don’t get me wrong; fame itself isn’t bad. In fact, it might surprise you that fame of the human variety is mentioned a great deal in the Bible. Do a word search on your favorite Bible program by typing in “fame” or “famous” and you will see a long list of men and women who achieved renown in Israel. No, fame isn’t all bad, but there is a better way to achieve it. Just notice how Jesus attained it in Luke 4.
The setting for this chapter is the launching of Jesus’ public ministry. He has been baptized in both the Jordan River and in the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:21-22), which was followed by forty days in the wilderness resisting the temptation of the devil (Luke 4:1-13). Now ready to launch his ministry as Israel’s Messiah in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14), Jesus went into their synagogues to teach the Word, heal the sick, and deliver those who were oppressed by demonic spirits. And, we are told, wherever he travelled, Jesus utterly amazed the people of Israel:
“News about him spread through the whole countryside.” (Verse 14)
“He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.” (Verse 15)
“All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.” (Verse 22)
“They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.” (Verse 32)
“All the people were amazed and said to each other, ‘What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!’” (Verse 36)
“And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.” (Verse 37)
How did Jesus become famous? He was full of the Spirit’s power and overflowing with God’s grace! That is probably not what you were expecting, but it is the best way to attain the kind of fame that really counts. The right way to fame is by allowing the Holy Spirit to empower you and then just going about your day exuding the grace of God in every circumstance. And because we live in such a graceless world, when one of God’s servants spreads a little Divine grace around, people will notice them.
Get filled with the Spirit to the point that his grace is spilling out of your life and people will begin to talk about you, too!
“The lust of fame is the last that a wise man shakes off.” ~Tacitus
What If God Took Over?
Whether you get noticed or not, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you today—and then let grace overflow from your life. I’m guessing others will notice, since there won’t be much grace coming from other sources. Most importantly, heaven will notice—and you’ll add to your fame there.