Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lessons from Aesop: Jesus Our Only Hope of ‘Belling the Cat’

Long ago, the mice had a general council to consider what measures they could take to outwit their common enemy, the Cat. Some said this, and some said that; but at last a young mouse got up and said he had a proposal to make, which he thought would meet the case. "You will all agree," said he, "that our chief danger consists in the sly and treacherous manner in which the enemy approaches us. Now, if we could receive some signal of her approach, we could easily escape from her. I venture, therefore, to propose that a small bell be procured, and attached by a ribbon round the neck of the Cat. By this means we should always know when she was about, and could easily retire while she was in the neighborhood." This proposal met with general applause, until an old mouse got up and said: "That is all very well, but who is to bell the Cat?" The mice looked at one another and nobody spoke. Then the old mouse said: "It is easy to propose impossible remedies." From Aesop’s Fables.

How do we win the world for Jesus? How do we purge sin out of our camp? What will it take for us to see the nations holy? How do we go about spreading the glory of God to the nations? What will it take to cast down the enemy and see Jesus exalted and praised by people of every tribe, tongue, nation, and language?

Go to your local Christian book store or search the internet and you will find a host of answers to those questions. Some of them utterly insane, others wonderfully biblical. Can’t you picture the general council of mice discussing this great problem. Now put suits and ties on them and give them each a Bible and a scheduled potluck after the meeting. Now they are a group of Baptists discussing how to win the world for Jesus. Someone comes up with an amazing idea. It seems like a great plan. But just like mice lack the power to bell a cat we really lack the power to convert souls.

The only answer to each of the above questions is Jesus. Jesus is the only one that can do that which is impossible. Remember the story of the Rich Young Ruler. In that culture it was assumed that the wealthy were closer to God (sounds a tad familiar). This is why the disciples strange question after the young man walks away: “If he cannot be saved then who can”. Then Jesus tells us that the only one that can bell a cat is God Himself: “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

So, the next time you have an idea like belling a cat—remember that Jesus is the only one that can carry it out.

Solutions to solving the church, curing the nations, healing the world, etc. that are divorced from the gospel. The only one that can accomplish impossible remedies is Jesus.

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