When I was a teenager, a big event in my life was going to a Van Halen concert in Kansas City. I played the guitar. Eddie Van Halen played the guitar. He was the master. I was the student. Me and a buddy bought our tickets and made the 200 mile trek to Arrowhead where some 50,000 other fans were converging for the Monsters of Rock tour. It was a great time even though the ticket prices were steep and my Camaro broke down on the way home. I could now say I had seen Eddie live in concert!
There is a well-known account in the Bible where a woman made a long journey to go see someone famous. The Queen of Sheba traveled some 1200 miles to see King Solomon of Israel for herself. His fame and wisdom were known far and wide. [I Kings 10]. What is interesting is the usage Jesus would later make of this incident.
In the Gospel of Luke Jesus rebuked some of the Israelites of His own day for failing to recognize the divine implications of His presence amongst them. “the Queen of the South shall rise up with this generation at the judgment and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold something greater than Solomon is here.’ [Luke 11:31]
Those are strong words. What on earth is Jesus talking about? From a reading of the gospels it is clear that while some of the people of Israel were responding favorably to the mission and message of Jesus – others dismissed His teaching and set Him aside as irrelevant. Some became disciples and responded to His call to ‘follow Me’. Others went on their way eating and drinking, ignoring the light of the world in their midst.
I think of this passage as a challenge to us today: ‘How far would you and I travel to hear Jesus?’ In our case – we don’t have to get in a car or buy an airline ticket. We just need to go over to the bookshelf – pick up our Bible and read. When was the last time you made a trip to hear the wisdom of Jesus? Perhaps you’ll need to get up a little earlier or turn off the t.v. or the computer. Maybe you’ll need to clear some time on the calendar. Whatever it takes - I encourage you to take some time out of your busy schedule this week to go and sit at the feet of the master. It is a journey worth taking!