Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. (Hebrews 4:14)
When I was in high school, I knew a guy–his name escapes me now–who had a singular verbal habit. Nearly half his sentences began with “My pastor says…” We’d talk about some television show and he’d say, “My pastor says that MASH is evil.” When the topic of politics would come up, he’d spout off that “My pastor says Ronald Wilson Reagan is the Antichrist. See, he has six letters in each name. That’s 666. That’s what my pastor says.”
Okay, this guy didn’t actually say either of those things, but he did constantly tell us what his pastor said. Now I have no problem with people listening to their pastor, assuming that the pastor is a worthy source of opinion and information. If your pastor is Harold Camping or Fred Phelps or Joel Osteen, then please don’t repeat his words, but in other cases, pastors can be useful.
The problem arises when people don’t recognize that their pastors are people as well. They foul up. They substitute their own ideas for God’s ideas. They don’t know that’s what they’re doing most of the time. Sometimes, I suppose, they do it on purpose. They’re just people.
My high school friend would have sold everything he owned and walked around barefoot if his pastor said so. All too often people expect such great things from these humans only to be let down.
But then there’s the promise of Christ. His lieutenants might behave like boneheads now and again, but Jesus never does. He is the great High Priest. He’s capable of making intercessions, something my pastor, for all his great qualities, can’t touch. He’s incapable of failing, something that my pastor can manage. What a great source for confidence.