It is hard to separate the message from the man.
Have you heard the expression “Don’t kill the messenger.” Why does this observation exist? Have messengers been condemned for bringing upsetting news? Yes, they have. What did David do to the messenger who told him King Saul was dead? David did not separate the message from the man.
What happened to the Old Testament prophets? Jeremiah was thrown in a well because people did not like his message. Why? Was it Jeremiah’s idea to inform the people they soon would be bound and dragged into captivity? No. It was God’s idea. Jeremiah was His messenger. They did not separate the God’s message from God’s man.
Jesus taught in his hometown synagogue (Mark 6:1-6). “But he is Joseph’s son. His brothers and sisters live down the street, “ those attending thought. They did not understand His source for wisdom. They were “skandalizo.” Jesus was a “stumblingblock or impediment” to His own message. Why? His hometown friends did not separate the message from the man.
Jesus said a man may be honored and esteemed everywhere but at home, among his friends, and his own family. Everywhere else they separate the message from the man.
How do you treat your preacher or minister? Are you stuck on his monotone delivery? Is he too fat? Does his ticks distract your ears? Does he move around too much, too animated?
How do you treat your preacher or minister? Do you treat him as a man, or a messenger? What was his Sunday morning sermon? Do you remember? What was his Sunday evening message? What moved you about his mid-week devotional?
Are you listening to God, or watching the man?
Can you separate the message from the man?