What are you going to wear?

sunday best

Do you ever struggle to decide what to wear on a daily basis?  I certainly do.  I’m not the type of guy that spends a lot of time on my wardrobe, just ask my wife.  In fact I’m the type of guy that doesn’t give up on a garment just because it has a little wear and tear.   When I find something comfortable I stick with it.

What are the occasions you get dressed up for?  Most people in this day and age get dressed up for very little, but there are certainly times when we desire to look our best.  Funerals seem to be a time when most men will put on a jacket and tie.

When I was a little kid my parents would dress me up in one of those little Lord Fauntleroy suits for church, okay I’m embarrassed even writing about that.  How about the person that dies at that funeral, they certainly dress them in their best attire don’t they?  I wonder why?  They’ve already stepped into eternity and they are now standing before the Lord of all creation.

How will they appear to Him?

Joshua is one of the greatest men of the Old Testament.  He was a man of great faith.  He’s a man that saw Jesus Christ and believed Him.  The name Joshua is the 24th most popular boys name over the last 100 years according to the Social Security Administration.  There must be something about this guy that was special right?

God must see him in a special way.

Joshua 5:13-15 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand.  And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”  So He said, “No, but as the Commander of the army of the LORD, I have now come.”  And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”  Then the Commander of the LORD’S army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.”  And Joshua did so. 

Joshua is an experienced warrior and a man chosen by God to lead Israel.  He is in many ways a man of privilege having been given this tremendous responsibility, and he meets Jesus Christ, and receives direct instruction from Him.  This is mind blowing for me, certainly this man is righteous?

So what’s the point?  What does this have to do with our clothing?

Zechariah 3:1-3 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.  And the LORD said to Satan.  “The LORD rebuke you, Satan!  The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!  Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”  Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. 

Joshua the man of privilege, chosen by God to do His work, the man of great faith was standing before God and was clothed in filthy garments.  Can we grasp the gravity of this?  What I need to consider, and what I desire you to consider, is how can anyone stand before the Lord and be clean?  For us average folks, that don’t lead armies and conquer cities, that don’t have books of the Bible named after us, where’s our hope?

Since God is Holy, mustn’t we be clean to stand before Him?  Don’t we have to be “good” to enter heaven?

Zechariah 3:4-5  Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.”  And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”  And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.”  So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him.  And the Angel of the LORD stood by.

Today I implore you that your Sunday best clothing will not suffice as you stand before the Lord.  There is not a suit or a beautiful dress you can wear that will make a difference.  Your best acts, your most righteous deeds before God and man are nothing but filthy garments.  (Isaiah 64:6)  You are incapable of cleaning yourself up enough to be presentable before God.  Joshua, Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah and even Abraham were not clean by the perfect standard of God’s righteousness.

How do we stand a chance?

The Apostle Paul speaking about Abraham says this:  Romans 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us.  It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Our dilemma is that what we choose to wear can never be good enough.  Our righteousness, as seen by God, is without hope.  We will perish in our own goodness.

But Christ is the solution to our problem.  To be ‘justified’ in the sight of God He must see the garments given us by the work of Christ on the cross.    Nothing else will do.  To receive this free gift means we must repent, turn from our sin, and embrace Jesus Christ as the Lord of our life.  Not just by saying something about Jesus, or claiming intellectual knowledge about God.  Not belonging to a church, but sincerely recognizing a need for Christ to cleanse us and to take away our sin.  Without Him all hope is lost.

If you don’t recognize your deepest need for Him you are trusting in yourself, you are in a sense clothing yourself in your best clothes expecting He will find you acceptable.

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Here is the answer to the problem.  Let’s dump our Sunday best and clothe ourselves in the righteousness of Christ.  He is the solution to the great problem mankind faces.


My dear friends and readers.  I want to seek your forgiveness for a mistake on my part in this post.  I inadvertently confused Joshua the High Priest with Joshua the son of Nun (Joshua 1:2), who took Moses’ place as leader of the Israelites.

As my friend James pointed out in the comments it doesn’t modify the main point of the article, which is “We NEED Jesus” to clothe us in righteousness however, it was sloppy exegesis on my part.  It is extremely important to me that I properly explain and interpret scripture to bring glory and honor to God (2 Timothy 2:15).

Thank you for reading Uncommon Faith and I’m grateful that the Body of Christ can strengthen and encourage one another.


Jesus wept


The shortest verse in the Bible says “Jesus wept”.  Have you ever wondered why?  Was Jesus showing his humanness and His empathy for the human experience?  This is the common understanding and we know it’s true from scripture. (Hebrews 4:15)

If you are like me you have probably read this verse many times and just thought, “Jesus has compassion for those around Him, especially Martha and Mary because He loved them”.  The Jews that were there thought this also if we look at verse 36.  I agree, He certainly had compassion and loved them, but I believe there is so much more to this verse than most notice.

John 11:14-15 – Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.  And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe, Nevertheless let us go to him.”

Here we see the purpose of Lazarus’s death, also affirmed in verse 4; Jesus says it’s for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.  He did it so the disciples would believe and He would be glorified.

This seems hard for me to believe, yet this is what the Lord says.  We are already well into Christ’s ministry, how is it they don’t believe?

John Calvin commenting – He does not mean that this was the first feeble commencement of faith in them, but that it was a confirmation of faith already begun, though it was still exceedingly small and weak. Yet he indirectly suggests that, if the hand of God had not been openly displayed, they would not have believed.

John 11:21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

John 11:32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Watch what happens next, as I find this fascinating and where I think most people miss the point of this verse.

John 11:33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, (professionals hired to cry at a funeral); He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.

The word groaned here is – embrimaomai (to snort with anger); to have indignation on, that is, (transitively) to blame, (intransitively) to sigh with chagrin, (specifically) to sternly enjoin: – straitly charge, groan, murmur against.

Jesus was also troubled – tarassō – Of uncertain affinity; to stir or agitate (roil water): – trouble.

Jesus was clearly annoyed by the reaction of all of those around Him at the death of Lazarus and seems to be agitated to the point of anger.  He knew He was going to raise Lazarus, so it can’t be that He doubted what would happen.  Then it happens.

Jesus wept. – John 11:35


Why?  Let’s consider a few other verses that might give us some insight.

Matthew 9:36-38 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.  Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

Luke 13:34  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stone those who are sent to her!  How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!

So why did Jesus weep?  He had compassion for sure, but His compassion and his groaning was over the hard heartedness of man that lives in a self-absorbed sin saturated world.  He wanted them to come in faith and repentance, but they refused.  They wouldn’t acknowledge Him as Lord and as their King; despite the irrefutable proofs of His miracles.  It was obvious wasn’t it?

Today we consistently see the same thing.  There is nothing new under the sun, and you can show the un-believer sin and his hatred of God, yet he can’t see it.  I can sometimes intellectually understand my own disbelief, yet I just can’t get out of my funk.

Does the Lord groan in His spirit over you or over me?  Is He troubled by our lack of belief or our compassion for the lost?  Does He groan when we live in willful rebellion to His Word?  I am struck by the depth of this chapter as it relates to me.  It’s easy for me to see the shortcomings of others yet fail to see my own sin.  It’s easy to be critical and see how much they need Jesus, and they do, but I need Jesus.

I need Him more today than the day I was saved because if He didn’t weep for me, I’m lost.  If He pulled His tears back from me I’d spiral into the depths of my own sin in moments.  The closer I draw to Him the bigger and more wretched my sin becomes.

Men have always been ungrateful to God in the same manner, and continue to be so. If he does not grant all our wishes, we immediately launch into complaints: “Since he has been accustomed to aid us hitherto, why does he now forsake and disappoint us?” There is here a twofold disease. First, though we rashly desire what is not expedient for us, yet we wish to subject God to the perverse desires of the flesh. Secondly, we are rude in our demands, and the ardor of impatience hurries us before the time. – John Calvin

How about you?

If you can’t see your sin then I beg you to repent.  Do you truly weep over your sin or are you merely a professional weeper hired to perform a service?

If you are a Believer do you weep and groan over the lost?  How much compassion do you have for those around you that are without a shepherd?

May the Lord be merciful to those who can see their sin!  It cost the One that paid the price dearly and that’s something we should weep about.