Does the Bible Label You as Common ... or Uncommon?There is no question each person is unique. We all have different fingerprints, personalities, aptitudes and abilities. But does that uniqueness mean we are all ... uncommon? Jesus addressed this. You may find His view ... interesting.
One time, some scribes and Pharisees were offended because Jesus' disciples did not wash their hands before eating. Jesus responded with this. "There is nothing outside the man which, going into him, can defile him; But the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man" (Mk 7:15). When in private, the disciples asked Jesus about this statement. He added, "That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of man, proceed the evil thoughts and fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, envy, slander, pride (arrogance) and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man" (Mk 7:20 -23). The word we are interested in, is the one translated, "defile." The verb is koinoo, and the noun is koinos. Let's look at the primary meaning of this word.
For a long time, many believed the Greek of the New Testament was a new language from God - heavenly, undefiled, and holy. But archeological digs began unearthing shopping lists and land deeds written in the same Greek in the same time period! It was evident that the New Testament was actually written in that day's common language. It is now called Koine Greek Common Greek - from koinoo (v) and koinos (n).
Koine Greek has many words that are neutral - morally. Context determines if they are to be understood as positive or negative. For example, Jesus told His disciples, "I have earnestly desired (epithumeo) to eat this Passover with you before I suffer" (Lk 22:15 ). But elsewhere, "everyone who looks on a woman to lust (epithumeo) for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Mt 5:28 ). The first context is obviously positive, while the other clearly isn't. Such is the case with, koinoo (v), koinos (n). In a more positive light it means, "universal, generic, widespread common." Thus, Koine Greek. But in a negative light, this word means, "profane, inferior - defiled." Such is the context in Mark 7: 15, 20-23.
From cover to cover, the Bible teaches that our natural, universal state our common state - is one of moral defilement. "What man is there among you, when his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give what is good to those who ask Him?" (Mt 7:9-11). To be defiled is the common state of man.
Man has his own standards for measuring one's commonness - or uncommonness. Fame makes one uncommon. Power makes one uncommon. Wealth makes one uncommon. But a heart that exudes "evil thoughts and fornications (porneia sexual immorality of any sort), thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, envy, slander, pride (arrogance) and foolishness" resides in a Commoner. To some scoffing Pharisees, Jesus said, "You are those who make yourselves righteous in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men (literally, high before men) is detestable in the sight of God" (Lk 16:15 ). One's position in life does not influence God's assessment in this area - and that is a great encouragement. So, based upon behavior, at any given moment, God views each of us as either common or uncommon.
It would be nice to be able to claim I live in the place of the uncommon. But I do not think this is a spot anyone permanently occupies in this age. Sin - that all so common a companion - frequently raises its head. When I violate God's measure for uncommonness, I make myself ... a common man. Anyone could do what I just did. Sometimes sin deceives me, and sometimes it blinds me. But many times, I just decide to participate with it. Oftentimes, by choice, I become a Commoner.
This life is one of continual process, change and challenge. Only God can fully determine our uncommonness - or commonness - event by event. Sometimes, when in the midst of a situation, it is difficult to accurately measure our "performance". But, He has given us some tools (like the first passage in this Article) so as to substantively assess ourselves in most circumstances.
So, at any particular time, we are viewed by God as uncommon ... or common. "There is nothing outside the man which, going into him, can make him common; But, the things which proceed out of the man are what common the man That which proceeds out of the man, that is what makes him common. For from within, out of the heart of man, proceed the evil thoughts and fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, envy, slander, pride (arrogance) and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and common the man" (Mk 7:15 , 20-23). I do not want to stay a Commoner. It is my desire that God sees me as increasingly uncommon. I want to live in such a way that He might even say to the heavenly host, "Have you considered my son, Robin? Have you seen how uncommon he is?" This matter is in your hands ... do you want to be uncommon?
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About The Author: In 1977, Robin became a Christian. Since then he earned a BA in Bus. Admin (Milligan College '90) and Master of Divinity (Emmanuel School of Religion '92). He addresses the Tithe and Offering in "No Tithe for the Christian." Other Free Christian Ebook (s) address abortion, death, love and more at www.freelygive-n.com !