Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
I do not receive honor from men.
He departed to the mountain to pray.
The best antidote for poison is its avoidance. If you see a mound of ants, step around it. If you see a drug marked toxic, don't take it. If you see a crown coming toward you, redirect it.
'When Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone' (John 6:15).
Without a doubt, Jesus became famous. 'A large crowd followed Him' (John 6:2) everywhere. Yet, He did not seek fame. For most of His ministry, He laid low; 'He warned his disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Christ' (Matthew 16:20). Jesus didn't avoid the people, but He did avoid their praise.
Yet at the end He went public.
'Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds... were shouting, 'Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!' ' (Matthew 21:8-9).
His mission was acknowledged. Celebrity was His destiny, but the look of it was different: no mighty steed, no grand robe, no golden crown. His triumphal entry into Jerusalem was humble.
What lessons can actors, models and talent for Christ learn from the King of kings about the avoidance of worldly celebrity?
1) Become famous under God's terms: 'Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man' (Luke 2:52). Note the proper order: wisdom first--fame second; God's favor first--man's favor second.
2) Avoid the bling: 'Be imitators of God as dear children' (Ephesians 5:1), 'That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world' (Philippians 2:15). Jesus displayed a humble life. Should we?
3) Put off bragging, vanity, greed, promiscuity, reckless behavior, arrogance and intoxication. Put on Christ. 'The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control' (Galatians 5:22-23).
4) 'Pray without ceasing' (1 Thessalonians 5:17): 'He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed' (Luke 5:16). Prayer is your foundation, your balance, your retreat and your answer to every challenge.
5) Stay close to God: 'I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you' (John 14:20). 'Draw near to God and He will draw near to you' (James 4:8). How?
Stay in the Bible. Stay in church. Stay in fellowship. You are in the world by the command of Jesus, but come Home at the end of the day.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Celebrity Poison series.