Welcome Home – 40 Day Fast Devotional #10
Credit Where Credit Is Due
“Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?”
Between 1501 and 1504, the great artist Michelangelo sculpted his famous “David” out of marble. After it’s unveiling, when people asked him how he made such a beautiful piece of work, he is reported to have said, “It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David.”
Michelangelo’s assertion is that David was always ‘in’ the rock, it was merely his job to reveal him. Michelangelo knew that the greatest craftsman as the Creator of heaven and earth; and that he merely chipped way the edges.
As we enter the Biblical story once again, we see that as soon as the man runs (and leaps, and praises) into the temple, the people recognise him as the ex-beggar who up until very recently was sitting, hat in hand, outside the gates. Of course, this caused a scene! People love drama, and a crowd attracts a crowd. All of a sudden, we have Peter and John, with the healed man clinging to them, surrounded by hundreds of onlookers and bystanders.
Peter is quick to assert the fact that he is no hero. The victory and the praise belongs to Jesus. It was not their faith, it was not their kindness, it was not their availability that made the man well. It was the grace and mercy of Jesus. We can be kind, merciful and available, but unless the Lord is involved, we have no power and no joy. Our fruitfulness hinges on His presence.
When we take credit for something God did, it would be like Michelangelo insisting that he not only chipped away the marble, but that he created the marble it as well. Of course, this cannot be. When we create, or converse, we work with things already created by God, and our privilege and responsibility as salt and light is to bring out the God-flavours and God-colours of the earth (Matthew 5:13-14 MSG).