There Is One Mediator Between God And Man

There Is One Mediator Between God And Man (Hint: It’s Not You!)

I was sent this funny story recently, it made me laugh but it also made me think.

One day a young pastor decided to share with the children at church a life lesson from Psalm 23.

He told the them about sheep, that they weren’t smart and needed lots of guidance, and that a shepherd’s job was to stay close to the sheep, protect them from wild animals and keep them from wandering off and doing dumb things that would get them hurt or killed.

He pointed to the little children in the room and said that they were the sheep and needed lots of guidance.

Then the pastor put his hands out to the side, palms up in a dramatic gesture, and with raised eyebrows said to the children, “If you are the sheep then who is the shepherd?” He was pretty obviously indicating himself.

A silence of a few seconds followed. Then a young visitor said, ” Jesus, Jesus is the shepherd.”

The young pastor, obviously caught by surprise, said to the boy, “Well, then, who am I?”

The little boy frowned thoughtfully and then said with a shrug, “I guess you must be a sheep dog.”

I think the story caught my eye because I’ve been thinking a lot recently about this topic.

It’s like what Paul said to Timothy – there is only one mediator between God and man.

Jesus.

Why I’ve been thinking about this

Every day I receive about 100 new emails and a good portion of them are people expecting me to be their mediator between them and God.

  • Can you pray for X?
  • Can you explain Y in the Bible?
  • Can you tell me what God’s will is about Z in my life?
  • This happened to me – can you tell me what to do next?

Now I love to help people and obviously I do my best to help them out.

But the sheer volume of these emails suggests to me that we as Christian’s aren’t doing a great job equipping people to talk with God about our issues.

In fact most pastors I talk to seem to be saying the same thing.

What is a pastor?

The role of the pastor is not to be the voice of God… it’s to help people connect with God – so they can hear His voice for themselves.

I think we all need to walk the fine line of expecting God to speak through our brothers and sisters in Christ but at the same time not turning them into the voice of God.

  • When you have a hard situation you are facing… who do you turn to first your pastor or to God?
  • When you don’t understand a Bible verse do you turn to your pastor or to God?
  • When you need prayer do you sit with God first and talk it out or do you run to a Christian and ask them to pray for you?

Now there isn’t a problem with turning to pastors and friends… don’t hear me wrong.

I’m just concerned by how many of us may have turned other people into a crutch in our relationship with God.

It’s OK to have a crutch as we learn to walk… but we should be getting better at walking over time without the crutch.

If we aren’t something is wrong!

Consider this…

Are you using other believers in your life as a crutch in a healthy way? One that is equipping you to walk strongly in your own relationship with God.

Or are you merely plodding along relying on their relationship with God rather than your own?

And on the flip side:

Are you discipling people? Helping them connect with God and have their own relationship.

Or have you inadvertently become a mediator between God and man?

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14 Comments

  1. I loved the intro! Nothing wrong with being a sheepdog! They are a shepherds finest tool! I hope to be one, one day! ;)
    I see this obviously happening in the Catholic Religion. Just recently, with the killing of Martyrs in Iraq, I read comments in a post on the Catholic FB page that were disturbing! They were harshly criticizing their Pope for not going over there and doing something about the killing etc going on! They even were making comments that the Pope’s prayers were useless and that praying was a wayste of time! Very sad to see, but it seems the religion is set up to produce this kind of reaction. Why are they not understanding the power of prayer and by putting their faith in a man (Pope), to help them… It’s just outright wrong! I ended up just praying for them… Doing what we can do is all God expects.
    Well written and to the point.

  2. Exactly! I have been thinking about the same thing quite often. Your posting encourages me a lot to continue teaching this valuable topic to the people .

  3. Well said.
    It sad that pastor no longer point the people to God but rather point them to the man they see on the pulpit. They teach them to run to them at evry situation they face.pastors are meant to equip the people with God’s word.

  4. As a Pastor, I fully agree with what Phil says. It amazes me how many ‘mature’ Christians seem to come to me for advice and get upset when I gently ask them, “what is God saying about this?’
    The role of a pastor is to equip and not chase after their congregations – and if I can be a little controversial, they are not there to wipe their bottoms every time the mess up! If you think you need to run everything past your pastor, then you are under control that isn’t of God!
    Yes, pastoral sensitivity means that pastors will sit and mourn with those who mourn, help folks through their difficulties, but honestly, in the four Churches that I have pastored, I spent more time running around after the sheep than I did equipping them – and that wasn’t my choice and it was not God’s role for me either!
    So much more could be said… but I am off to sea to conduct a scattering of ashes…

    • I totally agree – this is a two sided sword!

      While some pastors do themselves no favours by setting this up as a way of life in the church – most are just experiencing the result of many years of people expecting their pastor to take the place of God in their lives… what a stressful position to fill! I wouldn’t want it that’s for sure!

  5. I agree with everything that was said. However, I must say, that many people have been taught to run to their pastors about everything. Many pastors have been duped into believing it is their Job to play GOD.

    • Absolutely Teri – I totally agree – I think we are many centuries past the pastors trying to set up this system… they are now just a product of their environment – as are their members.

      We have created a system that establishes pastors as the position of God for people and everyone loses out!

  6. I We are facing exactly the same situation. We are expected to treat pastor as someone who mediates and decides things for us. I am so saddened that the innocent believers are being misguided. Could

  7. Could you please provide some scriptural references(as many as possible). I have found some. I need more clarity on this subject and I need scriptural backing. Please help. Thank you. God be with you!

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