Cutting Out The Middleman

02/02/2011

Several years ago a large retail chain was purchasing a certain product from a manufacturer here in Pennsylvania. The manufacturer was having this product made overseas even though they were perfectly capable of making it themselves and had been doing so for years. It was just more profitable to have the item made in China, shipped here, and then sent on to the customer's warehouses.

An ambitious purchasing agent for the retailer found out who was making the product and asked if it was possible to buy it directly. "Sure!" came the reply. The retailer offered to pay a little more than the manufacturer had been but they were still getting a bargain. Why? Because they were bypassing the middleman, who lost several million dollars in annual markup as a result of being bypassed.

It's always good to go to the source and not just because it's usually cheaper. Wouldn't you rather eat a freshly picked tomato from your local farmer's market than one that was picked unripened and shipped across the country before finding its way into your shopping cart?

The Apostle Paul made an interesting comment in his letter to the Corinthians. He writes, "I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." (1 Cor 2:2) Another translation reads, "For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified." (NLT)

Paul knew a lot of stuff. He knew what it was like to be a self-righteous zealot and he knew what it was like to a persecuted Christ-follower. An entire island of people were healed through his hands (Acts 28:9) and the Holy Spirit seemed to blow through him like a tornado through a cornfield. He wasn't even shy about using himself as an example for people to follow (1 Cor 11:1). Yet he told the people of Corinth that he "resolved to know nothing except Jesus." Why? Because there is nothing else! Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6).

Beware of middlemen who try to put themselves between you and Jesus. Heed the words of C.H. Spurgeon who said in 1872, "Rest assured there is nothing new in theology except that which is false; and that the facts of theology are today what they were 1800 years ago." You can cut out the middleman whenever you want to! It's called prayer. You can converse with the Almighty God, the source of everything. So use that connection and pray to God through Jesus.

The knowledge--no, the assurance--that each of us has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is too simple for some to believe and so they seek middlemen who promise to deliver the manufacturer's product on God's behalf. That's like going to the tanning booth when it's 80 degrees and sunny outside!

Surround yourself with Godly people you can trust and worship with others in a way that glorifies your Creator. But don't let anyone tell you that the road to Jesus goes through them. The price Jesus paid for you is too great to believe in such a thing.

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"People don't need polished leaders but faithful witnesses who point them to the crucified and risen One by their words and by their lives." Brian Dodd, Empowered Church Leadership

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There are 2 comments

Thanks, Rich! Spurgeon has LOTS to say about traditions that put too many "middlemen" in between the individual and Jesus--he was extremely passionate and blunt about it in my opinion. But I always feel my job is to point the way to Christ as best I can.

In faith, as in business, it's usually best to "buy direct!"

kent
February 09, 2011 - 15:41

Excellent devotional. I liked the comparison of a middle person in business in comparing our relationship with the Lord Jesus. Each of us has direct access to the Father. Thanks for the quote from Spurgeon. That is right on.

Rich Bushong
February 04, 2011 - 09:48
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