Jesus by association

Have you ever heard of guilt by association? I'm sure that you've been accused of it at least once in your life. When the people you associate with get into trouble then that reputation of guilt trickles down to you, even if you haven't done anything wrong. It can also work in the opposite direction. If someone you associate with receives an honor or accolade, then that can shine a bright light upon you.

Are you guilty by association when it comes to Jesus? In Mark 9, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with him up on a mountain for the transfiguration while the other disciples waited behind. When Jesus and his three disciples came back down from the mountain, they arrived to find a commotion. It seems that a man had brought his son to Jesus' disciples so that they could rid him of the spirit that made him deaf and mute and would cast him into fits. However, the disciples were unable to heal this boy and an argument broke out among the disciples and the Jewish leaders as to why this was the case.

The fascinating part of this conversation occurs in the words that the father of the stricken boy said to Jesus when he first saw Him: "Teacher, I brought my son to You." The man had really brought his son to the disciples because Jesus wasn't even there when the man first came. But because they were close associates of Jesus the man saw it as bringing his son straight to the Master.

What an incredible responsibility that brings to the follower of Christ! You may have heard it said that you are the hands and feet of Christ here on earth, and that is powerfully reinforced by this passage. When people see a follower of Christ, they are really seeing Jesus' representative. Sure, if they want to place their trust in Christ they must trust Him and not you, but in other areas you are the Jesus that they see. The world will usually form their opinions of Christ based upon the lives of His followers.

So can you be convicted of being Jesus by association?

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