Gerry & Julie Gutierrez' Update

Prosperity Versus Indignation

April 3, 2014

An unnamed mother came to Jesus in the name of her husband, Zebedee, to ask a favor of Jesus on behalf of her two sons.

This woman was seeking prosperity for her sons on her knees, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom” (Matthew 20:20-22).

“You do not know what you are asking”, Jesus said to them.

Seeking prosperity in the gospel is as old as history.

Indignation of others who compete for the same is just as old.

The question is why the indignation?

Jesus already said about them, “You do not know what you are asking.”

Shouldn’t compassion for their embarrassment at the answer of Jesus be enough and appropriate?

Could it be that the indignation of the disciples was more with how clever the sons of Zebedee were in using their mother for their own prosperity?

More likely the ten disciples wanted the same thing from Jesus but they were not as fast on the draw or as quick on the trigger as the sons of Zebedee.

One thing is true: Nothing is more indignant to the godly than the prosperity of the ungodly, and in the same way nothing is more indignant to the ungodly than the prosperity of the godly.

But if we think it over, this feud among brothers is as old as walking on foot. It goes all the way back to Cain and Abel and in fact, it goes back to the matter of religion:

How best to worship?
What is acceptable to God?
What is not acceptable to God?
What is God’s ways and mans ways?

Ironically, religion is what separates or radically puts man together. Most of the wars in which men have embarked, have been initiated or fueled up by the counsel of the religious. Only Jesus unites truly man with his fellow man through the work of reconciliation on the Cross and he alone gives true and lasting peace.

Cain and Abel are representatives of the two seeds in conflict announced by God in the Garden of Eden to Eve and the serpent.

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman and your offspring and hers. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). Since then history is nothing but the conflict of the seeds.

Cain and Abel were brothers that came from the same womb.  One killed the other but from the same womb came Seth to replace Abel, and the conflict went on to this day between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent.

Isaac and Ishmael were sons of the same father, Abraham. They both became the father of two nations - the Arabs or Ishmaelite’s and the Jews or the Israelites. And the war between these two brothers goes on to this day.

Esau and Jacob were the twin sons of their father, Isaac.

Esau the Edomite became the father of Herod. And Jacob the Israelite became the father of Jesus.

One pursued to kill the other as a hyena seeks to kill the cubs of a lion before they grow up and crush them.

In Calvary the serpent wounded the heel of Jesus but Jesus crushed the head of the serpent for good. That was the end of the cosmic warfare, which started in the Garden of Eden. Goliath has fallen once again as the son of David decapitated the serpent on the cross.

“Let’s go” is the proper response today.
“Let’s go” to mop-up the battleground.
“Let’s go” to gather the plunder.
“Let’s go” to change the world.

The scale has finally tilted in our favor and it will remain so till consummation. Prosperity is ours from the hand of God. The Cross of Christ has paid the price of true prosperity.

Let those who have zeal without knowledge learn from those who have knowledge without zeal.  May the gospel be preached boldly and truthfully, for it is a great sin to make the gospel boring from either end of the pendulum.

The better of two worlds is ours, therefore, “Let’s go”.

I enjoyed standing next to Bruce and Kim in Osaka, Japan surrounded by towering glass buildings in the midst of an ocean of young adults from the business world.

I remember thinking, how dare you, Japan, seek prosperity in making Heaven out of Earth without the blessing of Jesus.  “For he who gathers without Jesus scatters without Jesus”.

Then I thought, as did David: “For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (Psalm 73:3).

Sometimes I like to hear Prosperity Gospel preachers and their stories. They do not have much to say, but they say it so beautifully and with a great smile closer to laughter but more than a smile.  On the other hand, I am grumpy at a meaty sermon without flavor and spice.

Prosperity preachers tell some of their fairytales as if it were the ultimate reality at this side of Heaven while others preachers tell their reality as if it was a fairytale. Prosperity Preachers fills stadiums to capacity, while other preachers have only the usual suspects allegedly saved but indignant.

Even I run my race as if to break the Paper Mache of the finish line. But what I long for is, the sight of the smile of Jesus for me. While I may not sit on His right or on His left, I would love to be near enough to His throne to see his lovely eyes and feed upon them forever.

David has killed Goliath. Jesus has crushed the head of the serpent. The rest of the body of the serpent is not going to eat us up, therefore, “Let’s go”. Prosperity is legally ours at last because of the work of atonement of Jesus on the cross.

Gerry Gutierrez

PS. This is part of the First Thought series of April 03- 2014 Georgia for Radio Amauta!