Striking words, to me, would be the words of our Lord in John 11:43. In contrast to the fake religious, miracle worker preachers of today, Jesus simply speaks forth three words, “Lazarus, come forth!” With those words a man dead four days comes from his tomb. Rather than parade the man in the presence of the preacher and in front of thousands on a stage, Jesus simply says to those about him, to unbind him and set him free. I marvel at the thousands who are deluded by these charlatans, but I am angered by the preachers who have an interest in money, prestige, and power (or influence). Though I marvel at the many who are deluded, I also take note of the many who want to be deceived. They want to be deceived because when evidence is brought forth that the person they are following is not following the Lord – they still follow the charlatan. On the other hand, there are many who are there genuinely trying to get answers to their most pressing problems in life, and those people are the ones….. well …. I hope the Lord has mercy on.
Never fail to take note of the contrast between the genuine (Jesus) and the one who promotes himself.
The Bible often makes distinctions by teaching in contrast. A good example of this is the lesson of the prodigal son in Luke 15.
There is the contrast of the prodigal’s attitude when he left home and when he returned. Leaving his father was an act of rebellion and dishonor. To the son, living in his father’s house was like years of hard labor, instead of loving service. When he returns to his father, what motivates him is a willingness to serve. He says to his father, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son,” (Luke 15:21 NET). What a change there is!
Then, there is the response of the loving father contrasted with the older brother’s anger and contempt. The father immediately ordered a celebration for his son. The father’s reaction is explained in his statement, “because this son of mine was dead and is alive again,” (Luke 15:24).
Lifted up in hateful indignation over his brother’s repentance, however, the elder brother is disappointed with his father’s explanation. The older son said, “But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your assets with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!” (Luke 15:30 NET). This son of yours? What difference could be clearer?
The Bible teaches often drawing distinctions using contrast. Light and dark, love and hate, selflessness and selfishness are just some of the uses. God be glorified and praised for his wonderful gift of his word!
As far as brand fidelity, I don’t look at the brands when I grocery shop. I just look at the cheapest products, no matter what the brand name, and purchase them.
Regarding brands, I wrote the following article entitled “The Problem of Brand Conditioning” that looks at the contrast between different religious “brands” and the Lord’s church:
In response to today’s nudge, Here’s an article I wrote contrasting the attitude of the two thieves that were crucified along with our Lord: